Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jerusalem Supper - Traditions

My favorite Christmas tradition is our Jerusalem Supper. When I was a kid, we always went to my grandma's house for the huge family party (followed the next day by another). At one point, I was maybe 10, my parents decided to begin their own tradition. At first, I was devastated to miss the family party, however after a few years, the Jerusalem supper became very meaningful to me.

More than anything, I love the simplicity of this supper. I'm not into commercialism, and I'm not a huge Santa fan or proponent. That's not what Christmas is about, nor should it be the focus. I love that this supper helps us completely shift the Christmas focus to Christ and not to Santa, and what I'm getting for Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, we gather for a very simple supper. We try to imagine what it might have been like for Joseph and Mary - what would their supper have been on the eve of Christ's birth? Not too fancy...

So, we turn out all of our lights, light a few candles and some of our clay lamps from Jerusalem, and we dine on - dates, figs, pomegranates, nuts, different cheeses, olives, crackers, (okay - so there I don't go quite so traditional...I'm not a big fan of flat bread) and possibly some roasted fish, fowl, or lamb, and grape juice.

Afterwards, we watch "Joy to the World" and then act out and read the Christmas story from Luke. We finally finish up singing Christmas carols, then our kids don their new Christmas eve p.j.s, and we all trundle off to bed.

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