Christmas Traditions: LDS Style

One thing I have noticed over the years, is that we LDS have our own set of traditions which seem to follow, sometimes other faiths, sometimes they are our own special additives to the Holiday season.

So I am going to run down a few:

1. Christmas Party – pretty much every ward I have been in has one.  However our ward in Edmonton has a special twist, called Christmas Breakfast.  Each of these parties used to feature Santa, not so much any more.
(these are not exclusive to Mormons but the style certainly is)

2. Stake Carol singing – I have seen this done in a couple of stakes, it is nice, but little kids get bored real quick so we do not go.  (Similar to some of the carol festivals I have gone to in other places.)

3. Gifts for Jesus – Something of a 90s thing which seems to have fell into disuse (at least in my family) is the gift left under the tree for Jesus,  sometimes these are completely empty, sometimes they contain “presents” of what you will do to remember him. (I have a sneaking suspicion this is actually an evangelical idea but who knows.)

4. Reading the Christmas story – the Mormon twist here is to add in 3 Nephi 1 along with the others.  This one I have done a few times.  It seems to be something better suited for Christmas Eve than the day when the kids are running amok.

5. A night in Bethlehem – more than likely not a Mormon invention but a really interesting way to do a Christmas party.  In our last one, we had an initial fireside, then they opened the screen and allowed us to enter “Bethlehem”.

The fruit marketHere is a picture of one of the stands.   The light is kept very dim to try and create a candle lit experience.  And many people brought blankets to sit on.

So you would go through the market to feed yourself, and after they had the Christmas nativity put on by the primary.

So what traditions do you have?  That might or might not be LDS only in origin.

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5 Responses to Christmas Traditions: LDS Style

  1. Keri Brooks says:

    Every year on Christmas Eve, my family takes baked goodies and dry soup mix in a jar to friends/neighbors/ward members. We usually start around lunch time and finish up around dinner time. Then we order pizza. After dinner, we light a fire in the fireplace, read the Christmas story out of the Bible (no BoM reading) and then sing Christmas carols until we’re hoarse. On Christmas, we open presents and have a big extended family dinner.

    I’m not sure how the goodie delivery started. I think we brought a few plates to a few neighbors one year and then it just took on a life of its own. The pizza tradition started when I was a teenager and my mother was sick one Christmas Eve. None of the rest of us wanted to cook, so we ordered a pizza. We liked the idea so much that it stuck.

  2. BruceC says:

    We did #1 (not the breakfast) #4 and 5

    Our old stake did a Messiah-Sing-Along every year, with an orchestra made up of volunteers from the stake and the solo parts done by professional singers and the choral parts done by all the members who attended. Following that was the first presidency firside.

  3. Stacey T. says:

    Bruce,

    Any chance you used to be in the Valley Forge, PA stake? Some friends and I started that same idea there about 8 years ago. We have since moved, but I miss that so much! Our new stake has other traditions.

    Music is the best part of Christmas!

  4. On Christmas Eve we always reenact the nativity (Luke 2; sans the Nephites) and then, for dinner, we have a “shepherds’ feast. We sit on the floor and eat finger food that only modestly relates to what the shepherds might have eaten.

    We just moved to a new ward (Lindon, UT) and was SO sad that their party did not include a Santa. My first time with that element missing in my entire life.

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