2015 Season of Advent and Christmas

Thank you to everyone who shared an Advent memory or tradition.  Please use these memories as a type of advent calendar as we wait and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  We also hope the sharing of our traditions brings us closer together as a community.  Enjoy this advent season!   - Youth and Family Committee

December 1st: “We hide a pickle on our Christmas tree.  The first person to find the pickle on the tree gets to open the first gift.”  -Peter 

December 2nd: “To start Christmas we always go to the Christmas Tree Lighting in Rice Park.”   -Saraya   age 4

December 3rd: “I remember my mom finishing all her handmade Christmas gifts for 20 grandchildren and cooking and baking.  Our Thanksgiving was a banquet.”

December 4th: “The lighting of the advent wreath always held a lot of meaning.  As a child we would also have an advent wreath at home.  It was very much our German tradition.”

December 5th: “I remember us always baking cookies together.”

December 6th: “Growing up my family was sponsored by another family at church.  One evening before Christmas we would have a potluck feast with this family and open presents they gave us.  I have many happy memories of these evenings.”   -Bee

December 7th: “I remember how excited I was as a child when we brought out our Yule log and as children who was going to be the first one to light the first candle.”    -Susan

December 8th:  “After my children moved away our first Christmas together was wonderful.”

December 9th:  “On Christmas Eve we always eat Panera bread bowls for dinner.”   -Peter

December 10th:  “I remember making a gingerbread church.  We have made one in the family since the 1950’s.”  - Lil and Rod

December 11th: “When my children were very young, to help them understand why we celebrate Christmas we baked a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.  We have continued the tradition every year.”  -Katie

December 12th: “I remember coming home from Christmas program practice and a neighbor came out of her house and told me the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.”   -Gordon   age 85

December 13th: “My most special Advent memory was in December 2000 when my daughter and I were baptized together at Beaver Lake.”  -Leslie

December 14th:  “Every year we count down the days until Christmas with an advent calendar.”  -Jada    age 7

December 15th:  “Every advent season I bought Advent calendars for our sons and I now do this for our grandchildren.  The calendars were/are always the ones that embrace the true meaning.  We also now have permanent calendars that we bring out for the season.”   -Karen

December 16th:  “Every year my Dad would take all of us kids to a tree farm to cut down a fresh Christmas tree!”  -Cari

December 17th: “I remember placing an advent wreath which was made by my sons in Sunday School on the dining room table.  They each took turns lighting candles before dinner.”  -Deb

December 18th:  “My favorite memories of advent always involve the music and the lighting of the advent candles.  After that, my second favorite memories stem from talking my mom into giving me some Christmas presents early.  She doesn’t even argue anymore; now it’s a tradition that I get a few early!”  -Lindsey

December 19th: “For a child, waiting is difficult. For a child, waiting through the long weeks of Advent is almost impossible. The year I was about six or seven, on a very cold December day, my parents announced that we would be going on a very special surprise drive that evening. My siblings and I begged for more information, “Where are we going? What will we see? Are we getting a present?”, but our parents would say no more. The day seemed to drag on and our thoughts and words centered on the surprise drive. Where would we be going that night? Finally, we bundled up in our coats, hats, and mittens and tumbled into the car. The air was thick with excitement and anticipation. We drove just a few miles; my dad stopped the car, told us to put our hands over our eyes until he said, “Open!” The car moved a bit more and I heard, “Open!” My eyes opened to a dazzling display of Christmas lights that marched down the main street of North St. Paul. The lights twinkled; the lights blinked on and off -- causing a bell to ring, a sleigh to move, a Santa to laugh. The memory of that night is how the lights illuminated the darkness – the hope of Advent.”  -Kim

December 20th:  “Another great memory is the lighting of the Advent wreath in church.  One special year was when my oldest son and I were asked to light a candle.”  -Karen

December 21st:  “Every year we go with our dad to Menards and pick out a new Christmas decoration for our house”

December 22nd: “As a child I would love going to the late church service on Christmas Eve.  At this service there would always be a special way they told the story of Jesus’s birth.”

December 23rd:  “I love spending Christmas Eve with my wife and kids.  We go to church service and make a special meal when we get home.”

December 24th: In those days Ceasar Augustas issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  Luke 2:1-5

December 25th:  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  Luke 2:6-7