Last week, I shared places that get me in the Christmas spirit. As much as I enjoy those places, there are some other places that I love to spend time at Christmas. These places do get me in the Christmas spirit, but they are also the places I feel the closest to the true meaning of Christmas.
This week my Thursday Thoughts will only be three. Here are my three favorite places to be during the Christmas season.
I love church all of the time. It is a part of my life and has been since I was born. I look forward to Sunday every week. But there is something special about church during the Christmas season. The building is decorated, and there are lots of parties and gatherings to celebrate the season. There are elements added to the services each week during the Advent season that often involve children or families. The singing of traditional Christmas hymns and Advent sermons that lead to a candlelight service on Christmas Eve all make church a special place during the Christmas season. All of these things are part of the single focal point of Christmas: Jesus. Jesus brings meaning to Christmas, and there is no better place to experience that than church.
My Parent’s Home
I love spending time at my parent’s home at Christmas. Usually, Barbara and I will stay at my parent’s following Thanksgiving lunch and help them decorate. As they get older, those things are a little more challenging, and we are glad to spend time with them and help. Our family usually gathers at their home for Christmas Eve. Our family tradition is to eat steaks and baked potatoes for Christmas Eve dinner and open gifts. Christmas with my parents is the only tradition I have had my entire life. Spending time at their home during the Christmas season is special, and the older we all get, the more I cherish those moments.
My wife is an incredible decorator, and she loves to decorate at Christmas. As I write this, I can see three full-size Christmas trees from where I sit. There are two more full-size trees in other parts of the house and a few smaller trees. There are lights and decorations and even the scent of Christmas. The beautiful Nativity displayed each year points directly to the birth that we celebrate this time of year. Everywhere I look in our home, there is something that helps remind me of the Christmas season. The grandchildren are around talking about gifts. Our children and grandchildren will get together and exchange gifts and eat a meal together during the season. I love my home, but it is an extra special place at Christmas.
What are your favorite places at Christmas? I would encourage you to go to church this Christmas season. Visit your family. Enjoy your home. It is a special time of year to spend in special places we love.