Christmas Eve


Traditions help us to celebrate. And because Christmas is a really big celebration in our culture, we have a multitude of traditions tied to this one holiday. If you were to conduct a door-to-door survey, you might find that each family has a different set of traditions surrounding this holiday. Some traditions are tied immovably to our faith, while others have developed because of our geographic region or personal preference. For whatever reason, there are certain aspects of the holiday that just say, “Christmas!” to us.

One of my traditions centers around the Nativity Scene(s) finding prominence in our Christmas decorations. Over the years I have purchased more and more pieces to build a little town out of statues—but the town centers on and focuses in on the Christ-child lying in a manger. Another tradition is to always place a small Nativity beneath our tree—not mixed in with the other shinily wrapped gifts, but as a reminder to all who see it that the One Gift of Christmas is the Baby who we celebrate. But my favorite Christmas tradition has now earned a spot in our year-round decorations—it never gets put away—that I like to call my “Extra Jesus Nativity.” The rustic clay scene came with two babies. It reminds me of Christmas and of the fact that I need more Jesus all the time. I think that perhaps I should remember that He also wants more of me! Merry Christmas!

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.”  —Simeon, Luke 2:29-30

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When my daughter was a preschooler she was accustomed to having a nightlight burning in her room at night when she slept. There is a measure of comfort to know that the light is burning. Occasionally the bulb in the nightlight would burn out. For my daughter it was a frightening experience when this happened at night-time. If she awoke and the light was not there she called out to let me know that something was wrong. By replacing the bulb, fears are calmed and the whole household can return to sleep.

Jesus tells us that he himself is the light of the world. Without this light, we cannot see, we cannot find comfort. With the light of Christ we are comforted and we can enjoy life calmly. The light was first introduced into the world at the first Christmas. Today, Christ-followers carry the light of Jesus in their spirits. While the light will not burn out (like a nightlight’s bulb), we must let it shine out through the things that we do, and the way that we live.

This is the message of Christmas—Let your light shine!