Today officially ushers in the Christmas Countdown! These festive weeks are always over in a blink so I’m planning our family calendar now to make sure we get the most out of the Season. I heard this sermon when it aired on the radio in October and it has stuck with me as I'm planning our family events. The title is: The People Who Missed Christmas. LISTEN In this message, the pastor describes all the people who were around Christ's actual birth, but missed the miracle for various reasons. What a mirror this sermon is! I am consumed so easily with trivial things like buying the best toys and wrapping them beautifully, decorating our home, baking treats, and planning parties, designing the perfect Christmas card, even getting extra gym time to work off those treats and parties so I don't take them with me into the new year that I have little time to be still and ponder the absolute miracle that is Christ's birth.
This year, Rock is old enough to understand Christmas for the first time so it's our perfect chance to start a family tradition and teach him how to "not miss Christmas". We have a beautiful advent calendar with little pockets that can be filled with toys or candy, but this year I am filling them with elements centered around the birth of Christ, small tokens that give opportunity to teach our children that Christmas is about Christ and giving to others our of the abundance that God has given to us.
One other tradition that I personally love but haven't been able to do with little kids is to hear Handel's Messiah performed. This might be the year that we try it. The free performance is this Sunday December 3rd.
Here are a few other festivities that we will try to take in this year:
· November 17- December 22: Polar Express Train Ride http://www.nctrans.org/Events/Polar.aspx
· December 2: This year will be the celebration of the 27th Annual Winston-Salem Jaycees Downtown Holiday Parade. The parade will be Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm and will be followed by the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership‘s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Winston-Salem Christmas Parade https://www.wsparade.org/
· December 3: Sunday at 3pm. Handel’s Messiah presented by the Winston Salem Mozart Club FREE http://wsmessiah.org/
· December 8 at 4:30: Listen to live music, visit the Animal Zone, participate in holiday crafts and demonstrations, watch a festive Planetarium laser show, and meet special guests … including Santa himself! $3 per person. http://downtown.kaleideum.org/programs/festive-family-friday-kaleideum-north/
· December 9: Salem Christmas Saturday at Old Salem. Join us for our annual celebration of Moravian traditions throughout the Historic Town of Salem! http://www.oldsalem.org/events/event/salem-christmas/
Historic Buildings will open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. The St. Philips Anniversary Lovefeast will take place at 11:00 a.m. At 5:15 p.m., we will gather in the James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium in the Old Salem Visitor Center for carol singing and the lighting of the Christmas Pyramid. Activities are included with the purchase of an All-In-One ticket. Friends of Old Salem enjoy free admission (learn more about becoming a Friend of Old Salem)
· December 15-16: Live Nativity http://stjohnsfalcons.org/winston-salem-drive-thru-nativity
Have you been to any of these events in the past or planning to go?? Also, Please share your favorite family traditions! I'd love to hear how you celebrate the Season!
-Soli Deo Gloria