Spiritual Practice

That Christmas Feeling

Rebecca West

We often think of Christmastime having a certain feeling. Does your family have traditions that evoke this feeling?

Panettone (Italian Christmas cake), slicedIn South America, Christmas occurs during the heat of the summer. Ecuadorians kick off the season of Advent with church processions through the streets, complete with music, dancing, and colorful banners. In Chile, children run outside at midnight on Christmas Eve or Noche Buena (“Good Night”). They climb the highest hill they can find to look for Santa while parents set out presents at home. For many in South America, Epiphany is also a major holy day, celebrated 12 days after Christmas to mark the arrival of the three kings. On this day Peruvian households enjoy the sweet fruit bread panettone.

Sometimes changes in our family, home, or church can alter our traditions. Christmas might not feel like Christmas anymore. But our traditions do not make a day holy. Rather, the miracle of Christmas gives meaning to all of our traditions around the world. Instead of letting change disrupt the feeling of Christmas, perhaps we can see it as an opportunity to create new traditions. What traditions could you adopt from other cultures to honor the spirit of Christmas this year?


PRAY: No matter how we prepare for Christmas, God, grant us a spirit of peace. As we still our hearts for the coming of Christ, we pray that the world may be transformed by your love. Amen.

—from devozine (November/December 2018). Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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