Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wha traditions do you have for Christmas? Are they Christian?

"Oyster Stew and Pea Soup" "Sloppy Joe's and then we open presents" "Church and then looking at Christmas lights" "Uncle Joe would dress up like Santa each year"

These are a few of the very basic Christmas traditions that families practice. The traditions we celebrate for Christmas are one's that we typically never forget. Our family would always eat Oyster Stew and Pea Soup with the Finnern side of the family every year (this tradition I hope to discontinue as I never ate that night).

However, how many of the traditions we do (not including attending church) actually proclaim our Christian faith? Santa visiting? Not unless he is in the Bible now. Opening presents under the tree? But why do we have presents and why a tree? If we do not explain these things, then that doesn't count. Looking at Christmas lights? I'm assuming we don't explain what the lights might represent.

I remember hearing from an older lady from my vicarage congregation who told me that when she was a child, all the children would gather around the tree and her grandfather would tell the Christmas story and how Martin Luther brought the first Christmas tree into the home to point his children to the star that pointed to Christ. They had to listen to grandpa before they could open presents. I also heard from a family that each child and person could only receive 3 presents because if Jesus got three, three was good enough for us.

These are a few ideas, what ideas do you have? I am always struggling to find ways to make sure that my kids know what Christmas is all about and that our practice lines up with our beliefs.


AshleyEffken said...

This is good stuff to think about. Every year I ask myself about the merits of Santa Claus, and I love remembering what the Advent wreath symbolizes, but it's been a long time since I thought about why we kill trees and drag them into our homes. And I like that grandpa that said three gifts was good enough for us if it was good enough for Jesus.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Pastor Finnern said...

Thank you Ashley. Yeah, last year on a plane a gal told me that her 6 year old daughter had stopped believing in Santa Claus and the magic of Christmas is GONE! I was kind of shocked at what she said, so I did not know how to respond. but just think about how the magic of Christmas never ends with Christ!

Merry Christmas

lawgospelman said...

Church, presents and then Christmas lights out on Navajo Lane was a family tradition growing up. There was always much to see south of town.