We had three different advent options to read through this Christmas season. By December 3rd, we’d (“I’d”) decided to stick to just one…the “Family Promise Tree”(a devotional with accompanying felt ornaments my sister had sewn).
More often than not we read 3 or 4 days worth of devotions in one sitting…because sometimes even the best attempts at making Christmas about Christ can be foiled by busyness and full lives. But no matter how it was done, the promises were shared from Genesis to Micah of a Savior to be a born, a seed to crush the head of Satan. A promised descendent of Abraham who would set the people free.
And even if your December didn’t include a single reading of Scripture with your kids, all is not lost. New traditions can be made and Christmas Eve is the perfect time to open the Bible and read His word. Even the astronauts did it…
On December 24, 1968, in what was the most watched television broadcast to that date, the astronauts Bill Anders, Jim Lovell and Frank Borman of Apollo 8 surprised the world with a reading of the Creation from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the moon.
Someone once told me children remember those things done repetitively. Sitting by your feet while you cook dinner. Prayers said at bedtime. Sharing highlights and lowlights around the table. And Christmas Eve traditions apply as well.
It used to be families decorated the tree on Christmas Eve. I remember being allowed to open one present after we came home from church. My husband remembers going an Italian restaurant after attending a candlelight service.
What will your Christmas Eve tradition be? Will you attend a service? Share a family meal?
In case you want to create a Christ-centered Christmas Eve tradition, here’s a devotional plan (and a printable version) for your family. It’s a series of verses to read from the Bible with Christmas Carols intermixed (to keep young children’s attention).
This isn’t fully original, but inspired and shortened from what I found here. Of course if you are attending a church service Christmas Eve you will find a similar organization (see bottom of post for links to Scripture and songs).
(Printable Version–>Christmas Eve Family Devotional )
For the very little ones (under age 5) I would sing “Away in the Manger”, then read the Christmas story in a children’s Bible, then finish with “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night” by candlelight (my favorite part).
For the more “dramatically” inclined, you could assign roles and act out the Nativity story while a parent reads through Luke 2. You would need: Mary, Joseph, Inn Keeper, a few animals, Shepherds, Angels, Wise Men (and of course a baby doll). May be a good idea when you are with extended family, cousins, etc.
May you enjoy precious memories with your loved ones this Christmas. May you prepare room in your heart and bend your schedules to worship the King. May you see all the gifts God has given you even when it seems you are running on empty. Blessings to you! Thanks for walking the God-centered journey with me in 2013. *heather
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
Away in the Manger
The First Noel
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
O Come Let Us Adore Him
We Three Kings
Joy to the World
Merry Christmas from the MacFadyens!!