- List All

  • Web   The Point


+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory

« The Great Thanksgiving | Main | Daily roundup »

November 26, 2007

RE: Unplugging Christmas

Nativityweb2 Thanks, Anne, for that great recommendation. So speaking of establishing family traditions surrounding Christmas, what are some of our readers' favorite traditions?

In my family growing up, my dad always read aloud from the family Bible the Christmas story on Christmas morning. One tradition I've started is writing a poem each year (no haiku, I promise) about a different character or aspect of the Christmas story. It has become a great way for me to focus my attention on the wonder of Christmas and to slow down long enough to really concentrate on it. Perhaps because I'm a writer, I find this a way of worship, a way of meditation on the character of God really. You can read one of my former poems at the end of this post. I usually include them in my Christmas cards. This one was published in BreakPoint's Worldview magazine (which you can get a subscription to for yourself or a friend this Christmas for free!!) and also in Kindred Spirit, the magazine of Dallas Theological Seminary.

But what are some of the best personal or family traditions you have developed that accompany Christmas? One of my friends tells about their annual family talent show. From the way she describes it, it sounds hilarious and a wonderful way to make family memories and shift the emphasis from consumption to creation.

Then the angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.”  Mary was greatly troubled by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1:28-31)

Mary’s Musings

“Favored,” they call me.

But I know what it means.

They hear, “favor” and think

Pious, noble sounds like saint

Or sinless or worthy.

I hear the word and know

that it means, “Grace.”

Grace, a word that arrests me

Each time I hear it,

Each time I embrace it.

At times it feels

Heavy as Jericho’s falling wall,

Sharp as Abraham’s raised knife,

Its weightiness and my unworthiness,

Sometimes felling me in humility,

Sometimes stabbing me with wonder.

At other times it feels,

Light as Gabriel’s glancing wing,

Soft as my son’s sleeping sighs,

The undeserved glory it boundlessly bestows

Sometimes lifting me in adoration,

Sometimes soothing me in surety.

If I cup the word in my hands

It pulses and squirms, and feels

Like the beating heart, fluttering life,

Once living inside of me,

Growing inside me.

But if I cup the word in my heart

I know that life lives inside me once again;

Now not as flesh, but as Word,

As life divine; now not as mother,

But as true daughter of the Son.

“Favored,” they call you, but believers,

Do you know what it means?

Do you understand that if

You embrace the Word,

You are not so unlike me?

Inside of you His life grows,

Not as flesh but as Word,

Not as mothers, but as true daughters

And true sons.  His life alive

Inside of you.

Clutch the word closely,

Say it to yourself softly,

And realize favored ones,

The word, that word they call you

Means grace.  Live by it alone.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference RE: Unplugging Christmas:



One of my favorite family traditions is unpacking and setting up the nativity each year. My parents continue to collect for me pieces of the nativity set. It's grown large over the years! Even now, as an adult, I enjoy opening a new piece each Christmas and placing it with the others. Our nativity takes center stage in our home and is a visual reminder of the "reason for the season".

jason taylor

To be honest we don't have that many traditions. Not because we aren't a close family, or because we dislike Christmas but because we are a bit lazy about such things. Which is to bad I suppose.
My dad always likes to watch Scrooge and Christmas Carol. I like to go to the mall. I know, comercialism and all, but it really doesn't effect me that way; and I get a sense of good cheer from looking at the shops or watching the skaters, and hearing the songs playing.

The comments to this entry are closed.