Christmas Songs, Movies & Traditions – 12 Days Of Christmas
By Steph Nickel
Throughout this post Stephanie reflects on her favourite Christmas songs, movies and traditions. The list includes “Mary Did You Know,” by Pentatonix, and “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” Read part 1 here.
Christmas Songs, Movies & Traditions
In this 7th of my 12 Days of Christmas devotional series, I’d like to discuss some Christmas songs, movies, and traditions—and why they’re numbered among my favourites.
Favourite Christmas Songs
The popular acapella group Pentatonix released a beautiful rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?” It made the rounds on Facebook and is doing so again this year. Since my musician husband has recently discovered this group—and loves them—I have been spending a lot of time listening to their recordings. Their unique style brings an amazing dimension to this powerful song.
But perhaps my favourite Christmas song is “Labor of Love,” sung by Point of Grace. Openness, honesty, and authenticity mean a great deal to me and this song overflows with all three. It looks at the events that occurred that first Christmas night so long ago. Listeners are challenged to see the story of the Saviour’s birth from a more realistic perspective. If you haven’t listened to it, I encourage you to do so.
Favourite Christmas Movies
Both of these songs are intense and beautiful. My favourite seasonal movies on the other hand … Well, let’s just say they reveal another of my eclectic interests.
When I was a little girl, we watched the original animated Dr. Seuss movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” When my mother-in-law bought the DVD for me one Christmas, I was elated. It’s a story about transformation and relationship. I love that.
For several years, my husband, our three kids, and I would watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol” after trimming the tree. Dave, Sarah, and I (the only three of us still at home) continue to make it an annual practice. And again, the themes include transformation and relationship … and singing, lots of singing.
Other Christmas Traditions
And what about other Christmas traditions? My favourites revolve around family get-togethers.
The home I grew up in has been my family’s gathering place for the holidays for many, many years. Being the extrovert that I am, all the craziness and laughter has been a highlight for me. Things are quieter now, and for various reasons, we can’t all be together, but it’s still something I look forward to.
For years Christmas was the only time of year we got together with my husband’s family. It was great to catch up, but that hasn’t happened in some time now.
Things do change and it becomes necessary to adapt. But today I just want to touch on something I hope will become a tradition that splashes over to the other 11 months of the year as well.
Seeking Ways To Reach Out To Others
Perhaps many of you have had an outward focus for years, especially during the Christmas season (kudos, by the way), but I admit it is a fairly new exercise for me. I’ve come to the place where, instead of wanting more and more material possessions, I would like to purge our home of what we’re not using. Maybe 2016 will be the year I finally declutter more than just one or two rooms. But even before this task is complete, I can seek ways to reach out to others.
I’ve mentioned the statistic in the past, but it still blows me away. If we have food, clothing, shelter, and access to transportation, we are in the top one percentile of the world’s population. Knowing that motivates me to thank God for His daily provision. It also makes me want to share with some of the other 99 percent.
With this in mind, I’d like to read a familiar passage of God’s Word. Jesus says in Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV),
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Philippians 2:4-11( ESV) is another key passage to keep in mind.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
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Images courtesy of:
Pentatonix – Flow910
Muppet Christmas Carol – Walt Disney Pictures
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