I think each of us can admit at sometime we have been fed up with the commercialization of Christmas. I recall being a young mother and wanting my children to understand the “real” reason we celebrate Christmas. The gifts and hoopla were fun, but Christmas is honoring Jesus’ birthday!!
I came up with an idea to change my family’s focus. After returning from church on Christmas Eve, we dressed in our pajamas and settled in front of a cozy fire, to begin reading. Billy began by reading Matthew 1:18-25; his verses reminded us of Jesus’s miraculous birth. Our daughter Ellis then read Luke 2:1-12, recapping Jesus’s birth in a manager in Bethlehem. Our son Will read Matthew 2:1-23, telling of Magi who followed a star and worshiped Jesus. I finished reading Luke 2:21-40, the story of Jesus being presented at the Temple.
I did not start this thinking it would be a tradition, but instead to redirect our focus. After all, Christmas is celebrating Jesus’ birthday. We read these verses for several years. As the kids grew and were young teens, they would kind of tease me about our Christmas Eve time, but willingly participated in the reading. One year, I got lost in the busyness and one of the kids said, “Aren’t we going to read the Christmas story?” It was at that point; I realized we had established an accidental tradition and my family appreciated that time to be in God’s word together!
About the Contributor
Cathy Bagwell is currently serving as an Elder and chair of the Worship Committee. She is married to Billy and they have 2 grown children.