I love this thread topic, Carson. Last year, I asked a similar question here looking for ideas on how to celebrate a more Christ-centered Christmas. A number of you kindly and generously shared some of your traditions and, as a result, have influenced how we celebrate Advent and Christmas at our house. So, first, thank you to all of you who shared in that thread last year: Jennifer, Carson, and Natalie!
Going into this Christmas season, we were much more purposeful about our celebrations and decorations than ever before. Many things went and a number of new things were introduced. This is not to say that how we do everything this year is how it’s going to be forever. But, we at least wanted to be more conscious of and intentional about how we celebrate this marvelous and glorious truth we call Christmas.
On was introduced, this includes a Jesus tree, a nativity in the front yard, and a double-sided banner that hangs at our mailbox that makes it clear that we love King Jesus and that he brings us great happiness.
If I’m honest, the Jesus tree was the biggest change for both of us. Essentially, a Jesus tree is a tree on which all of the decorations have a clear and explainable relevance to who Jesus is. Since this is our first year doing it, we don’t have many ornaments on it and I think this is part of what is contributing to our missing our traditional Christmas tree. But, we’ve talked about how we can, throughout the upcoming year, continue to think of and make new ornaments that point us to Jesus as our Lord, Savior, and treasure. That being said, even though the tree looks sparse - nothing like our traditional Christmas tree before(!) - the few ornaments that are on it are more meaningful and impactful to us.
The night before Christmas, we’ll watch John Piper read his Christmas poem, The Innkeeper. Last year we watched this together for the first time on Christmas Day and I just about lost it. I might have to watch it by myself this year to keep from becoming a mess in front of my bride. (just kidding . . . sort of )
On Christmas Day, along with scripture reading and discussion, the plan is to exposit Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. I’m really looking forward to diving deep into the theological and doctrinal beauties and truths proclaimed in this ubiquitous Christmas song.
I’d love to hear how others celebrate Christmas as I’m always looking for ways to celebrate a more God-centered Christmas.