My Own Christmas Traditions (Pastor Brian Rice)

I have mostly fond memories of Christmas. Mom and dad made it a great time with their delicious chocolate chip cookies, some with oatmeal. Skip the raisins, please. What a way to ruin a great cookie! We had steamed shrimp on Christmas Eve. Stockings hung on the stair rail leading to our family room, where the SKH Christmas tree was loaded with decorations (usually by mom). My brother and I would just toss the tinsel on the tree.

As Christmas drew closer, more and more presents appeared under the tree.

As kids, my brother and I were up insanely early on Christmas Day, but forbidden to wake mom and dad before 7:00 a.m. We were never able to last that long.

Many years later, after I had become a Christian and started learning the ways of Christian faith, Living Word’s traditions became so powerful for me.

Thanksgiving Cardboard Testimony Sunday is like a warm-up for this season.

We have loved being a part of the Christmas – It’s Not About Us and Seasons of Service ways of generosity through Living Word.

Becky and I ring the bells for the Salvation Army every year.

We do Operation Christmas Child and help with other presents.

The Christmas Eve services at Living Word are so beautiful and meaningful.

The Christmas Eve offering is so important in helping those in need. We love celebrating the “Yay Gods” for the generosity of our congregation.

On the home front, there are many (and I do mean many) Nativity sets everywhere in our house. I love every one of them, even though I do have a few favorites.

Other seasonal favorites include:

Attending Christmas parties with friends…

Eating Becky’s chocolate cookies and steamed shrimp (the tradition continues)…

Seeing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Hershey whenever possible….

Listening to Handel’s Messiah…

Singing “Joy to the World” (my favorite Christmas carol, and loving the Lincoln Brewster rocking out version of it)…

Watching Dicken’s A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott version, of course)…

With everything leading to Christmas Eve services and worshipping Christ the King, born of a virgin, laid in a manger, with (if we have eyes to see) the shadow of the cross looming over that manger…

I love everything about the Surprising Gift of Christmas. I pray you will, too. And may this Christmas be your best Christmas ever.

In the Spirit of Christmas,
Pastor Brian



Brian Rice
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