Christmas is a celebratory feast, a holy season of joy. Christians around the world celebrate Christ’s arrival in different ways, with traditions too numerous to count. Consider making some of these part of your twelve-day celebration of Christmas.

Prayers and Lights

If your Advent wreath has a fifth candle, the Christ candle, light it on the night of Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day, and say a prayer. 

Make it a season of light around your house. Light the Christ candle each night of Christmas. Set candles or lamps ablaze in your windows. Keep up the strings of lights on your tree and house. Light is a reminder of our hope fulfilled, that Christ has come to drive out darkness.

The lectionary continues through Christmas. Check out the Prayers & Scripture page, and engage in these Christmas-themed Scripture readings with your family. Recite a passage as you light the Christ candle.

The Magi (Henry Siddons Mowbray)

Gift Giving

Giving gifts is the oldest and most beloved Christmas tradition. It began with the Magi who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, “opening their treasures” for the child Jesus. It continued with St. Nicholas, who is remembered as a gift giver, especially to poor families and children. Today, we celebrate by exchanging gifts with family and friends throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons, particularly on Christmas morning.

Christmas Carols

Celebrate the full twelve days of Christmas by playing and singing carols throughout the season. Don’t feel foolish if you’re still crooning “The First Noel” or “Joy to the World” in early January. If people give you strange looks, remind them it’s still Christmas! Avoid burnout by waiting at least until the Third Sunday of Advent — the Sunday of Joy — to fire up your favorite Christmas tunes.

For more on Christmas carols, check out the Music page


Parties and Games

The solemnity of Advent has given way to the jubilation of Christmas. What better way to celebrate than with a party or two!

We’re accustomed to throwing Christmas parties earlier in December, during the Advent season. Consider hosting a real Christmas party. Bring together kith and kin at Christmastime for a joyous celebration of the season. Light a fire, bring out the delicious treats, sing carols, say a toast, and remember, of course, the Reason for all our merrymaking.

Don’t forget games! Parlor games were a mainstay of Christmas celebrations in Victorian England. Gather up your guests for charades, alphabet minute, a team trivia game, or Christmas karaoke.