Luke 2:7-15

O God, we know you are here with us, leaning in to hear our prayer, enlightening the darkness of our days and hearts, and warming our souls to smile and laughter. May we be a light to the world to gather people to your son Jesus. Amen.

Share the joy by creating art visible from the street outside your home.

Some ideas include:

A Christmas Chalk Walk
Make faith-filled Christmas art on your driveway or sidewalk for others to enjoy.

Christmas Stained Glass
Sidewalk under snow? No worries. Use this two-ingredient recipe for washable window paint to create Christmas art on your windows. Or simply create your art on paper and display it in your windows.

Use Christmas carols to anticipate Jesus’ birth and steep yourself, in advance, in the mystery we will celebrate soon. Here are some options:

• Gather with your household and carol outside homes in your neighborhood.

• Check your local newspaper for special Christmas events being offered such as concerts and performances. Schools and churches often present such offerings at very reasonable rates or even free of charge.

• Try the Grotto Network’s Christmas playlist from Spotify

Host a hot chocolate gratitude party virtually or with your household. (Based on an idea by Traci Smith in Faithful Families, pg. 31)

Virtually: Invite family and friends to your favorite online conferencing platform. Share a cup of cocoa, take time to write each other small notes of gratitude, and mail or read them to each other.

In person: Enlist family members to prepare a place by setting out cozy blankets, dimming lights or lighting candles, and putting on festive music. Serve each other custom hot chocolate. Feel free to be as simple as adding water to a pack of hot cocoa or to really live it up by creating a hot cocoa bar, including marshmallows, whipped topping, sprinkles, candy canes, and more. Come back to your prepared space and invite each person to share 2-3 blessings for which they are grateful.

Share the joy of Christmas by sending Christmas cards to a local nursing home, the homebound at your parish, and/or armed forces organizations. Consider using the Spread the Love campaign created by Faith magazine, found here.