Christmas is just a few days away, so we thought we’d take a break from the holiday mayhem to share a few of our staff members’ favorite Christmas traditions. Read Part 1 here.

Larry Moyer (Founder & CEO):

Reading the Christmas story in Luke 2 first thing Christmas morning.

David Souther (President):

Just reading Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2. Kind of vanilla, but it is what we do. I also watch the midnight mass. Donna can’t stand it, but I have it on while I’m wrapping presents.

Caroline Kibe (Ministry Assistant):

Growing up Anglican, our family tradition was attending the Christmas Eve service at church that went on until after midnight, “after Christ was born.” We sang hymns in my native mother tongue, and though I did not appreciate it then it was a wonderful time of celebration and community. Therefore, I would like to start that tradition again this year; to teach the children Nĩ ῦtukῦ, Gῦ kirĩtwo which means (Silent Night, Holy night) and other Christmas songs to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Sarah Bowler (Communications Manager):

I love the wonder and hope that permeates the season! Though it’s one of the darkest times of the year seasonally, the darkness only serves to magnify the beautiful light displays. As various opportunities arise, we take a moment to sit down and read the Christmas story as a family or just simply sing Christmas Carols—something I look forward to ever year (yes…I am also that annoying person that sings Christmas songs in July). I also look forward to baking tons of cookies to eat with our favorite homemade holiday beverages (usually eggnog), and shopping for presents. I work on my holiday gift lists all year, usually utilizing Amazon lists to help me keep everything organized.

On Christmas Eve, we’ve adopted the tradition of opening one gift ahead of time. Usually it’s pajamas, which we wear that night. Then on Christmas morning we open all the presents first thing.

Allison Lowrey (Development Director):

My favorite thing as a child was to arrange and re-arrange the nativity scene that my parents put under the Christmas tree. It consisted of a wooden stable and hard plastic figures representing each of the characters of Jesus’ birth. As I grew, the representation of Christ’s birth meant so much more than just the Christmas decoration. When my own family began, I wanted a nativity set that was durable so that children could arrange and re-enact the Christmas story, until one day they too would come to know the baby in the manger. I’ve always been touched by song lyrics. One that has come to mean a lot to me as I unpack that nativity and re-pack it each year is Heirloom by Amy Grant. While the hard plastic and wooden Nativity set is an heirloom, my precious Savior is so much more than an heirloom to me.

Each Christmas morning before the gifts are unwrapped, or any of the festivities of the day begin we gather around the tree as a family and read the passage in Luke 2 about Jesus’ birth. This is a tradition that was practiced in my husband’s family and he has brought it to our family. I believe it is something that our boys will make a tradition when they have their own families.

Feel free to share some of your favorite holiday traditions in the comments! We'd love to hear what makes Christmas special to your family.