Thursday, December 13, 2012

So here it is, Thursday December 13, 2012, and about 11 days remain until Christmas, depending on where in the world you live. And this being an international site has me pondering an interesting question, how do we all, as Christians, celebrate Christmas the same, and how do we celebrate differently, because of our local or cultural traditions?

Let’s look at the date first. Not all Christians celebrate it on the 25th, some celebrate it on January 6th, in connection to the Epiphany. And in many countries, such as Japan, Iran, North Korea, etc., there is no public holiday.

But how do we celebrate Jesus’ birth? This varies, too. A quick look at a post about Christmas on Wikipedia will have your head swirling. Parades, gift giving, fasting, family reunions, cards, carols, Santa, church attendance, etc. There are as many ways to celebrate Christmas, as there are ornaments on some people’s trees.

So what about those decorations. Lights on houses, holly, Nativity scenes, paper chains, Christmas trees, ornaments, poinsettias, mistletoes, garland, villages, trains, candy canes, stockings, wreaths, the list is endless.

And then there’s the food, which is a whole thesis in itself.

Nevertheless, however you celebrate Christmas, I hope it’s merry, and I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

And I’d love to hear from you! Please share some of your most beloved Christmas traditions. What are some things you must see or do on Christmas to make it special for you.

I love going to church on Christmas Eve, and it’s always even more special if there’s snow. I couldn’t imagine Christmas without my family, spending time with them is the most enjoyable part of the holidays, and we open our gifts on Christmas morning, followed by another day of celebrating and feasting, where we always have a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

To connect with Eva Maria Hamilton online, please visit her at her website where you'll find a video and a sample from her book, Highland Hearts.

Merry Christmas!


  1. Ah snow! I live on the West Coast of British Columbia and our Decembers are one long rain. If the temperature drops and we get snow, church services are often cancelled because the driving is too treacherous. Yet, I remember childbood in the snowy part of Canada and I agree with Eva, there is something magical about coming out of church on Christmas Eve into lightly falling snow. It's a beautiful Christmas image and I don't care that there was no snow in Bethlehem or that the date may be wrong or any of those other things. Anything tht brings us close to God, fills our souls with joy and opens our hearts to love is a worthy Christmas tradition. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Hi Eva,
    Here for me its not Christmas if I dont go to church on Christmas day. We use to open the presents before but changed to after Church. Its something we have always done and even when in the city I go to church Christmas day. Christmas eve I normally drop some gifts off then at night I love to watch Carols By Candlelight from Melbourne. We have our carols this weekend.
    Many will still have a hot lunch with turkey or ham. Christmas pudding etc. But some will have a picnic at the beach or in a park due to warm weather.

  3. Alice, I think you said it perfectly!!! I couldn't agree more :)

  4. Jenny, that sounds fantastic!! Carols By Candlelight from Melbourne, I'd like to see that! I wonder if they do a live online stream or something?

    Thanks so much for stopping by to comment! :)

  5. I know they broadcast to other places so they may have it online. it starts around 8.30pm or 5am New york time.

  6. Christmas for me is the smell of rubber. Christmas is the beginning of high summer and we traditionally took off down the coast on Boxing Day and didn't come back until Australia Day. Most of that month was spent on the beach. At Christmas the tree in the lounge room would have bundles under it containing flippers, goggles and snorkels. They were made of new rubber and, in the summer heat, would fill the house with their smell. Christmas is also the beginning of bushfire season in Australia, although these days it is starting earlier. Many Christmas gatherings have been interrupted by the need for people to drive home to fight fires at their back door. We have just bought our ham for Christmas. It's usually either a shoulder or leg. Some chicken also makes an appearance, so long as it is cold. The ham gets sliced up at the main table and eaten with salad and lots of fruit. Those in Australia who prefer the northern hemisphere cold Christmas usually celebrate it in July, in high areas hoping for snow. I've never seen snow, but I've heard that it's cold and wet. Yuck! In Sydney it can be daylight up till almost 9 pm. The big carols by candlelight nights have been taken over by celebrities and are now basically concerts in large stadiums, with some singalong. I prefer the more localised nights that the Anglican church down the street puts on. They call this Carols in the Carpark. There is more singing along together there, and fewer celebrities.

  7. We always put the nativity set up first. The tree is always last as it is a cut pine and they don't last too long in Summer. We tape the carols from Melbourne and start watching later on Christmas Eve so we can cut out the non carols and nonsense. Most of the local carols here have been taken over by Lions Clubs etc and are not worth attending. Nothing to do with the real Christmas story. Like Ken we have ham cold. Also pork but then salads, fruit and fruit cake.

  8. Ken, thank you so much for sharing that! It's winter in my half of the world and just the season alone changes things :) Here it is completely dark by 5pm, so I'm always thankful that at least there are lots of beautiful Christmas lights outside to enjoy :) For people who want to go to the beach they either go down south or take part in the polar bear swim on new years (that's where people going swimming in the lakes and oceans even though it's freezing) :)

  9. Dale, that's a good idea! We have a nativity scene too:) do your tv stations play a burning fireplace with music? Ours do :)