I missed posting something for my Christmas countdown the past few days, so I’m catching up. Here’s the post I wanted to do on Dec. 13. Recently, I attended a Christmas party in a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the “cultural hall,” a fancy name for the gym. I noticed something I’ve never seen before in any church buildings I’ve ever visited. To honor the Savior Jesus Christ at Christmastime, some people had posted the different names of the Savior Jesus Christ, all around the room, up high, by the vaulted ceiling, on huge sheets of paper. The effect was stunning! See the photos, above and below.
How providential for me to witness this!!! That very same day I had listened to the new Christmas episode of “Don’t Miss This” where the two hosts talked about the different names of Christ from the Living Christ Proclamation. Emily Belle Freeman talked of a Christmas Eve tradition in her family that uses these names. She said that she prints out these cards, these ones here, sets them out on Christmas Eve, and invites each family member to pick a name of Christ. This name they each pick represents how Christ revealed Himself the most to each one of them in each one’s story of the past year. Then they each take turns talking about the name each picked and why each one picked it.
Listen at the 10 minute 44 second mark in the video above to hear Emily talk about the names of Christ tradition for Christmas.
Then they place the card by the candle that is by the same name on their Immanuel Wreath, and light the candle. I love, love, love this idea! I’m going to do it this year with my family. Even if you don’t have an Immanuel Wreath, you could print out the cards and use other candles. Since I don’t have an Immanuel Wreath (yet! I’m totally getting one for next year as they are sold out now), I can envision how we’re going to do this for Christmas Eve next week. I’m going to let everyone pick out a name and share their story of Christ reaching them in that role. Then, maybe we’ll just circle round and round until every name has been discussed. I’ll get some fat candles, one for each card, and we’ll discuss until we’ve lit a candle to go with each name. Emily also has a tradition of lighting her Immanuel Wreath every day Dec. 1 to the 25th, to celebrate Advent. Every day, she and her family light a candle of the wreath, read the name of Christ below the wreath, and talk about how Jesus fulfills that role. I love it!
I have this set of candles below from our church’s Christmas party from our first Christmas living in AZ. I’m picturing how awesome it will look to see 23 more similar candles in the center of my table around this centerpiece, all lit up! What a fitting, inviting symbol of Christ. Hey, there’s another name for the Savior, “The Inviter.”
You could also use the Names of Christ Ornaments from Deseret Book to do a similar activity, and hang them on your tree instead of lighting candles. I just got a set of these from Deseret Book for my mom’s December birthday. Shhh! Don’t tell!