Preparing for Christmas 2022 and New Year’s 2023

Advent (Four Sundays before Christmas)

Characters of Advent

In the Advent Sunday worship services, we will have a special feature where we will meet “Characters of Advent.”  Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, we’ll meet Isaiah.  On the following Sundays, we’ll meet Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds, and hear the Christmas story from their perspective.

Simple ways to celebrate Advent

By Rev. Dr. Linda Holbrook
I read a story about a mother who had a wonderful Advent activity with her family. She had each person draw a name. Then she made a manger (without Jesus until Christmas morning). She put small pieces of straw on the stable floor. Each time a person did a kind or thoughtful act for the person whose name they had drawn, they took a piece of straw from the floor and placed it in the manger. These pieces of straw were the “straws of love” that were gifts to welcome the Christ child.
What a great way to celebrate a simple advent and Christmas. Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. I want to offer you suggestions for having a simple Advent and Christmas.

  • Attend a Christmas Eve service.
  • Make a trip with the family to see the lights.
  • Make a blessing box for someone.
  • Take the Christmas cards you received last year and pray for each family that sent you the card.
  • Make a donation in someone’s honor to a charity in which they have an interest.
  • Make some popcorn, light the fire, and gather together to watch a classic Christmas movie.
  • Write a letter to each person in your family that tells them why you love them.
  • Show someone special that you love them by giving them your undivided attention.
  • Visit a person you haven’t seen in months or years.
  • Read the Christmas story from the Bible.
  • Offer to shop for someone who can’t get out.
  • Clean out a closet and give old clothes to an agency who can use them.
  • Visit neighbors who had a death in their family this year.
  • Bake Christmas treats.
  • Make a “Blessings” tablecloth.  Purchase an inexpensive white tablecloth and a colored Sharpie marker.  At a meal gathering have everyone present sign their name.
  • Take time to enjoy all the decorations in your home.
  • Finally, celebrate the birth of the Christ child by making a manger in your heart.

Christmas Eve

Morgan Hill UMC will worship together on Christmas Eve, December 24, at 5 pm.  The service will be a festival of Lessons and Carols.  The Lessons are readings from the New Testaments that tell the story of the birth of the Jesus.  The Carols are songs that show us the beauty of the season.  There is be a special children’s time with a story, “Emma’s Gift” by Molly Schaar Idle.

The service will end with the lighting of our own candles as we sing Silent Night. Come and celebrate the Eve of the birth of our Savior.

Christmas Day

This year Christmas, December 25, is on a Sunday.  We will worship at our normal time of 10 am.  We will have a shortened service so that families will have time to spend time together.  We invite the children to bring one toy that they received on Christmas and we will bless the new toys.  Come and greet your church family this Christmas morning.

New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day, January 1 is on a Sunday this year. We will worship at our normal time of 10 am. We will begin the year with John Wesley’s renewal service. This liturgy reminds us of being Jesus’ disciples and we will celebrate Holy Communion. Begin 2023 with your church family.

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