Merry Christmas! How we keep Christ in Christmas

Posted December 25, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Miscellaneous /

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As I look around my house, there aren’t many things that scream “It’s Christmas!” according to the typical vision we see on Hallmark movies and such.

It’s not that I don’t have a tree, I have a lovely artificial one in the attic and really beautiful ornaments in the closet. There are other decorations in plastic tubs in the garage, waiting to be taken out. But they will stay put this year. The day I was thinking about getting everything out and set up, the floors needed to be cleaned and somehow, it just never happened.

My boss was teasing me about my lack of “Christmas spirit” when he heard this. Even though Christmas is only a week away, he told me I should still take the time to put everything up. Yet, even though I really do love seeing the decorations, it’s okay this year that it is only the Nativity that is set up. After all, the other items are simply seasonal decorations, while the Nativity speaks of the true reason we celebrate this day.

I don’t recall how long ago I got the idea to do this. It has been a least several years now. As I first set out my Nativity, I pick several spots in the living/dining areas and put (pregnant) Mary, Joseph, and the donkey in one place, the shepherds and their animals in another, and the magi with their camel (I love their camel!) in yet another. Within a day or two of setting them up, I initiate a conversation with my husband that might go something like this:

“Did you see that couple over there in Nazareth?”

“I did. She’s pregnant – do you know when she is due?”

“She is – and you know, the rumors are she was only betrothed when she got pregnant. It’s amazing he didn’t divorce her or have her stoned! She claims this is a miracle baby. Really?”

And so it goes as we talk about what it would have been like – mostly telling the story from the perspective of the villagers.

The story continues through the month until on Christmas morning when instead of a pregnant Mary, she has a baby, and the shepherds come to see. Then on Jan 6, Epiphany, the magi come to visit.

It’s a fun way to remind ourselves of the events surrounding the birth of our Lord. Next year I might see about buying a non-pregnant woman who is not holding a baby to be my Mary and can put her out talking to the angel sometime in March to prolong the fun!

For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

Isaiah 9:6-7

May you rejoice in the Prince of Peace this Christmas!


Do you have Christmas traditions that remind you to celebrate the greatest gift ever given? Please share them in the comments.


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2 responses to “Merry Christmas! How we keep Christ in Christmas

  1. Kathy Danheim

    Phyllis, I am in awe of the way you celebrate the birth of Christ. What a wonderful idea that I might have to consider. The way we keep Christ in CHRISTmas is one we go to Christmas Eve service. It’s very special to me. I particularly love when Christmas is on Sunday. It’s so fitting. To me, though, the most special way to celebrate and remember is a tradition my husband brought into our family. On Christmas morning, before any other thing is done, he reads the Christmas story from his grandads bible. I’m so sad that all our children are grown and in their 40’s now. Even though we still keep Christ in Christmas, I miss the special time we had on His special birthday. We do still do it for our grandchildren when we are fortunate to be at one of our children’s home for Christmas. This year was very different. Between work schedules and other commitments, they were all busy, having to fit the time in with their children for Christmas time. So here we were by ourselves. But I suppose in the long run, it was good for us. Something, at our age, we need to get used to. It was very hard on me though. But my dear sweet husband cooked me a special Christmas dinner and I made him his favorite dessert.
    Oh my goodness, I have gone on and on. Sometimes I just don’t know where to stop. lol
    Thank you for listening and giving me the opportunity to share a very special time of year. The day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Kathy! No reason to be in awe of this – it sounds like you do a great job of keeping Jesus central as well. My husband and I are also far away from family, so we do spend many a Christmas with just the two of us, so I understand how you feel being with just the two of you. 🙂 I do hope you will visit the blog again!