Keeping Christmas at Home
How can we share Christmas together in 2020?
One way is through shared moments: sharing Advent and Christmas traditions together in our homes, and at the same time.
Below is a list of suggestions–some old traditions & new ideas–for small ways of marking Advent & Christmas together outside church.
For some moments, there is also the option of joining together on Zoom as we do so.
(Zoom sessions will be only 5-10 minutes, meeting on the usual church account; please email for password)
If you would like to join an email list to receive reminders, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Putting Joseph and Mary into the crib scene (2pm on Zoom)
Christmas is now very close indeed, and our readings in church today are about the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she would be the mother of Christ. If you have a crib scene at home, now would be a good time to add Joseph and Mary.
(If you don’t have a crib scene, there are lots of DIY, homemade options available online; we particularly liked this one.)
(Please note: there will be no Zoom meeting, due to the carol services taking place that afternoon)
Each Sunday in Advent we light one of the four Advent candles in church; the fourth candle traditionally represents the Blessed Virgin Mary. As on the last three Sundays, we invite you to join us in kindling a light as the sun goes down (4.30pm): a symbol of Christ, our light who “shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1.5).
Mince pie high tea (3pm on Zoom)
Mince pies seem a quintessentially ‘Christmassy’ food–but how often do they get eaten after the 25th? Let’s enjoy mince pies while we can–and a nice break for ‘high tea’ in the midst of last-minute preparations for Christmas.
(Image: Christmas Stock Images.com)
Putting the baby Jesus into the crib scene (5.30pm)
(Note that this will not take place on Zoom, but might accompany the live-stream of our crib service (5pm))
Ringing bells (6pm on Zoom)
St Mary’s, along with churches around the country, will begin tolling its bell at 6pm to mark Christmas Eve. Join us online in the bell tower at 6–and make some noise of your own, if you can!
Singing at Midnight (12 midnight)
Sadly this year there has been little chance for carol singing. So why not mark the beginning of Christmas by joining in ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing‘ in the safety of your own home?
Christmas Lunch prayers (2pm on Zoom)
Yes, at 2pm you’ll probably be right in the middle of Christmas lunch–but that’s the point. In some places they stop for grace in the middle of a meal; so let us for a moment share our tables together, as we give thanks to God for the good gifts of his creation.
Prayers for tidying up
We all have to tidy up eventually–doing the dishes or taking out the bins–but this doesn’t mean Christmas is over. By making tidying up itself a prayerful activity, we can thank God for all his blessings while reminding ourselves of the joy still to come: the full 12 days of Christmas, and the whole new life in Christ that God has given us.