Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright, ‘round yon virgin mother and child, Holy infant so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight! Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born!
Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light. Radiant beams from Thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.
This song has always been my favorite Christmas song, especially in high school when our choir put on a Madrigal Dinner and Christmas concert. Both my junior and senior year this was our closing song. The feeling of walking out of the dinner space, singing quietly and joining together holding hands at the end has stuck with me for years. Even as I sing it throughout Advent and the Christmas season, that memory continues to shine through others.
Music can do that - provoke memories. Memories are also built through the traditions of doing them over and over again every year. What traditions do you have from when you were younger? What traditions did you continue with your own family? What traditions have you added or changed?
To me, traditions are a huge part of my Christmas memories. Growing up we would travel to Aurora, Colorado every other year for Christmas break. My grandparents lived in Colorado where we would spend an entire week around Christmas cross country skiing, swimming at the hotel, playing games, reading books, and just being together. We always celebrated on Christmas Eve and not on Christmas Day. We would attend a Christmas Eve worship service, come home for our supper of rice, butter, cinnamon and sugar, and milk. Clean up ALL the dishes, and then be allowed to open presents. I know that is the only way the adults got the kids to help clean up dinner! That had to be the night we cleaned up the fastest, don’t you think? Another piece to the tradition was that one person would have an almond in their rice bowl. You had to eat your rice until you found the almond- and then if you had it, you got an extra small gift!
As I have grown up and created a family of my own with our own traditions, we like to include things like visiting Bentleyville in Duluth, decorating the tree together, baking cookies, having our kindness elves visit, and getting to unwrap a book every night for bedtime throughout the month of December. My hope is that my boys will have a lot of great memories around Christmas beyond just what gifts they are receiving each year. They will remember how we spread kindness and thought of others instead of only ourselves. How we enjoyed spending time with each other and showing one another we care. Maybe they will even choose to carry on some of these traditions and memories with their own families someday.
Heavenly Father, help us remember that silent night so long ago and the miracle you brought to Earth. Continue to guide us in sharing the love you provide for us and allow us to sleep in heavenly peace. Amen.
To the Writers
of this devotional: