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A Pastor, A Mama, And The Mouse

So this is Christmas …

I’ve been so quiet around here and for that I’m sorry. In August, I quit my job out of town and started a job that to be honest – quite scared me. I left my world of early childhood and entered teaching Kindergarten – the thing that I always passed my kiddos onto. So, needless to say, it’s been a transition – albeit a GOOD transition. I’m home with my family, I’m home with my church and can focus more on pastoring these amazing people God has entrusted to us, and I’m just enjoying the season that I’m in.

All that to say … it’s Christmas. Christmas in Kindergarten is ….. interesting to say the least. HAHA. We are having fun learning about different countries and the way they celebrate Christmas. We have done two different countries so far – Mexico and Germany. And I’m going to share with you what I have learned along the way.


Christmas in Mexico starts off with a celebration that runs December 16 – December 24 …. a total of 9 days. In those 9 days the people will go to 9 different houses to celebrate and when they do they always ask the same thing “May I seek shelter” and every night until the last they are told “No”. On the last night they find the baby Jesus and they place him in the manger. They also celebrate a night in early January where they receive presents brought by the three kings. Now – remember I’m not a scholar on these holiday traditions, but this is what I have gathered in my research and teaching.


We then traveled to Germany. We visited the beautiful Christmas Market and learned the sad story behind the little angel girl named Das Christkind, and how they chose a girl who reminds them of this christ like child every year for the parade. We learned about the Advent Kranz, which is a ring of fir branches with 4 candles – one lit every week leading up to Christmas and then a fifth candle on Christmas Day to signal the birth of Jesus. They also place white candles or lights in their windows for Christmas, and it’s believed this started as a way to help light the way to the nativity to help find Jesus.

They also have this great mythical creature called the Nisse (what we know as a gnome) who lived in the barns on farms and really stayed hidden and just helped the farmers out, but they make themselves more known around Christmas time, but watch out – they are temperamental and a little bit naughty!

Next week we are traveling to our last country to learn about their Christmas traditions: Italy.


Again as in a lot of these other countries, they begin celebrating Christmas in early December and end on Epiphany day, which is January 6. In one region of Italy, there is a tradition that bagpipers come into the towns, playing bagpipes for the people. This is their way of imitating the shepherds in search of baby Jesus.

Even though, just like everywhere, they have a legend of some for of Santa Claus who will bring Christmas presents they actually don’t exchange gifts until Epiphany day, January 6. They have the legend of La Befana, an old lady, sometimes referred to as a witch, who is in search of the Christ Child – she was originally asked by the wise men to go in search with them and she turned them down and immediately regretted it and has been searching for him ever since.

I was thinking this week as I was preparing for my lessons, I truly don’t understand how people don’t believe in God – especially at Christmas time. I think we get so wrapped up in what is not of God and what is and what we think we should be doing and what we shouldn’t – do we decorate? do we set up a Christmas tree? do we decorate that tree? do we exchange gifts? do we go big? do we go small? Do we celebrate Santa? Or what about that dang elf? Don’t do the wrong thing because someone may accuse you of doing it for the wrong reasons.There’s so much stress that ends up surrounding the holiday for those who truly just want to have a season of peace, joy, and remembering all Christ has done for us.

But did you know – the TRUE Santa Clause, St. Nick, Father Christmas, whatever you call him –

  • he was a real person
  • he lived in the third century, so about 300 years after Christ
  • he was a christian
  • he gave everything he had and traveled to care for children who were poor and sick

He literally embodied what we should be doing at the Christmas season. From there his legend became grandiose as things do, but when we get down to the heart of it all – even those who say God is not real or that there’s more than him and what not – they are searching and celebrating exactly what they are preaching against. They are celebrating a God who loved his people so much that he sent his son to live on earth with us, to befriend us, to have relationships with us, to show us what it truly meant to know him, love him, walk with him, and have a relationship with him. This was new – the people of God couldn’t have a relationship, a true relationship, with him before this time. Before this time we were all held accountable for all of our sins and that was it – we had rules and laws and things to follow to protect us – to show obedience and love. NOW, NOW we can have a personal relationship, now our sins have been atoned for and we can walk in grace, mercy, and love. Does that mean we can do whatever we want because God forgives? NO … sin is still sin and repentance is a key factor in all of it, but we now can walk in that mercy and grace when we screw up and we say the wrong thing, we yell at our kids, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of things we are doing that are not of God, but we have always been taught to be a good thing to do, or socially acceptable to think. When it all comes down to it it all points back to Christ. It all points back to the true reason that we celebrate Christmas. The true reason we are here.

Another fun fact: Did you know that we can actually attribute the fact of putting straw in the manger bed to St Francis of Assisi? He visited Bethlehem before Christmas time to see where Christ was born and when he came back he set up a nativity scene and put straw in the manger bed – since then it’s all that we know!

Christ is at the center of it all, don’t get caught up in what the world or even Christians are questioning you about. Spend time with God – let HIM convict you of what you need to do or not do. Celebrate HIM this season. Remember to love. Remember He gives peace. Remember HE is the one who we have to answer to, not the world, not other christians, but God and God alone.

Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Frohe Weihnachten. Buon Natale.

Remember, you are seen, you are heard, and you are loved beyond all belief.


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