Today on the blog, Diana Trout, one of our Worship Leaders, shares some of her favorite Christmas traditions.
I love Christmas. The family time, the food, the music, the decorations, giving and receiving gifts… it’s all so good!
My small, close-knit family back in New Jersey has always participated fully in the Christmas season.
- We’d carol with our church every year.
- We’d watch every Christmas movie known to man.
- We’d all go out to find the perfect tree. Dad was always in search of the largest, fullest, best smelling one. He would usually win out over mom, who preferred trees that would better fit in our living room.
- We decorated our house while Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant played LOUDLY in the background on my dad’s giant speakers. The giant speakers were generally reserved for Christmas decorating.
- We’d help organize and participate in our church’s many services. Reverent Advent candle lighting; intimate Christmas worship nights; exuberant Christmas morning services.
- Christmas Day was spent with both sides of the family, enjoying food and each other’s company.
Christmas, these days, looks different for me. I moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and don’t get to participate in many of those dear traditions with my family anymore. This will be Nic’s and my first Christmas as a married couple, with traditions to begin of our own!
One tradition that doesn’t seem to change, no matter what location or season of life, is that the Lord uses the Advent season to renew my sense of wonder.
Rather than just enjoying the warmth and familiarity of traditions, I begin to WONDER at them.
- I wonder at the decorations of the season. Especially Christmas lights, that shine in darkness. They look like hope to me.
- I take wonder in the music we sing. Deep truths. Stories told for generations. The emotions of worship they invoke. My favorites are “Joy to the World” and “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.”
- I wonder at the blessings of family and friends. I wonder at the gift of time spent together. The gift of belonging and of being loved.
- I wonder at Jesus’ vast love. At his nearness. His light. His peace.
Traditions for me are shifting. Time, place, and season of life change them. But I am so grateful that no matter where I am, the wonders of Emmanuel go with me. I pray that this Christmas, wherever you are, you’ll be surrounded by the wonders of his love.
In his great love, light, and peace,
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