The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

By the time you read this, I will be celebrating Christmas with my family, and later with my extended family at my Aunt Lois’ home. We have our traditional grab bag exchange, which always turns into a competition match in who can steal the most creatively decorated or most intriguing-looking gift. When we finally open our gifts after the grab bag match is over, it’s always a surprise to see what we get. Some people get gag “white elephants,” while others get pretty useful things, like the pair of oven mitts and accompanying brownie mix I received one year.

Wacky traditions aside, I feel blessed to share this day with my family. Going to church on Christmas Eve was especially meaningful, singing Christmas carols, hearing the choirs sing, and enjoying the beautifully decorated, candle-lit sanctuary. For the first time, we read Luke's account of Jesus' birth before opening our gifts, an idea we got from Sonia and Julie (see previous blogs). And even though waiting to open presents was a challenge for our kids, hopefully they will learn to appreciate our new Christmas tradition in the years to come.

How have you managed to make your Christmas meaningful, amid crazy family customs and seasonal commercial trappings? Please comment below. I’m always looking for new ways to make this time of year even more significant.

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Embracing diversity