Every year, it feels like the Christmas hubbub begins the day after Thanksgiving (if it hasn’t started before then)! Between business and the holidays, December is always one of the busiest months of the year for me. It’s a time when I’m getting more serious about setting next year’s goals, in the midst of the menu-planning, gift-wrapping, and family traditions of Christmastime! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE this time of year, I just want to keep at the forefront of my mind the true reason for Christmas! I think it can be easy to lose sight of that if we’re not careful. That’s why I love that so many of my family’s Christmas traditions do revolve around celebrating Jesus! He’s the real reason for our joy, our peace, and our celebration. C.S. Lewis wrote such a beautiful line on this: “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” That is worth every bit of remembrance and celebration, both at Christmas and all year round! Because God gave His best gift, that makes me want to give my best gifts to my family and those in need.
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Some of my favorite Christmas traditions revolve around my church, Fairhope United Methodist. Each year, there is a “Jesse Tree” ornament exchange! If you’re not familiar with what a Jesse Tree is, it’s a way of walking through the Advent season, remembering how generations and generations led up to the birth of Jesus. Each ornament represents a different figure in Jesus’ family tree, and as you remember that person and read about him/her in the Bible, you hang the corresponding ornament on the tree.
I also look forward to our candlelight Christmas Eve Service every year. It’s a beautiful time as we all bundle up and sing hymns by candlelight. There are 3 services, followed by communion after the last service. It is such a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for the full meaning of Christmas day.