Often I am asked about some of my favorite Christmas traditions with my own family. I have several that are unique and special just to us. One tradition is that I give my daughters a gift of a new set of pajamas and slippers, which they open on Christmas Eve. We also have tamales and chili every Christmas Eve after going to the candlelight service together. On Christmas morning we enjoy (or maybe tolerate) green eggs, and Curt reads the Christmas story from Luke 2 before opening presents.
During the month of December we look for ways we can serve. One tradition I have started just recently is going downtown to help out with Operation Care. This is a giant Christmas party for the homeless in downtown Dallas. It is an incredibly beautiful gift of love to the people in our community. Hundreds of volunteers help literally thousands of homeless people, some who are bused in from surrounding cities. If you live in the Dallas area consider helping out on Saturday, Dec 19 at the Dallas Convention Center. Go to www.operationcaredallas.org to sign up as a volunteer and for more information.
One last tradition I want to mention is that of buying a Christmas book for the family. When the kids were little I bought children’s books which we read over and over again. As they grew I bought lovely coffee table books, and lately I’ve bought some wonderful Christmas novels and story books. This year I purchased Mike Huckabee’s A Simple Christmas, filled with touching stories that remind us of the true reason for the season. Another book I recommend is, William J. Bennet’s The True Saint Nicholas. The reason I like this book is because I think it is important that we teach our kids about the real Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) and the heart of giving which he displayed in his life. He was a true hero of the faith.
This week we celebrate the Advent week of Joy. As Christians, we find our joy in the Lord and in the fact that He sent Jesus to this world as a gift to pay the penalty for our sin. Joy to the World! May we proclaim it as we experience a joy that no one can take from us. I hope you have a wonderful week of enjoying family and pointing to Christ continually during this season.