"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments." (Deuteronomy 7:9)

Christmas looks the same for my family every year. My siblings and I get up right after midnight to jump on our parents’ bed and wake them up so we can open our presents. They fall back asleep while we play with our new toys and gadgets, and in the morning we have brunch at my grandparents’ house.

This is when the real magic of Christmas happens for us. We eat way too much food and talk about how blessed we are to have our family together for another year, then gather in the living room to read the story of the birth of Christ.

Growing up, the grandkids and cousins would always act out the Christmas story, complete with costumes. I always begged to be the angel. We had Mary and Joseph of course, baby Jesus, a camel, an innkeeper, and the various barn animals were all played by the aunts and uncles. As my great-grandmother read the story of how Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and how a Savior was born in a manger, we were reminded over and over that this was a true story. This really happened. And it happened because God loved us so much.

Once the story was over, we went around the circle and each person told of something God had blessed them with in the past year. Our grandparents and great-grandparents would finish by explaining how blessed we really are as a family and pray a prayer of thankfulness and protection for the year to come. We would end our time together by enjoying a “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake and exchanging gifts with each other.

Now that we’re older, we don’t use the costumes anymore, but we do tell the story of the birth of Christ and have a time where we remember how good God has been to our family throughout the year. This Christmas will be the first time my great-grandmother will not read the Christmas story since she is with the Lord. But we will still read from scripture and go around the circle, remembering God’s goodness and His faithfulness – both through our family and through the promise of His Son Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has your family been blessed by God this year?
  2. What is your favorite part of the story of the birth of Christ?
  3. Pray with your family a prayer of thankfulness and a prayer of protection.

Ashley Gross is the Director of the Preteen Ministry at First Baptist Dallas. She and her new husband Kris live in downtown Dallas, and this will be their first Christmas together as a family of two. Ashley is passionate about seeing children come to know the Lord as their personal Savior. In her free time, she enjoys baking and shopping. 

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