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Back in January, I jotted down a few quick notes before the start of my weekly church service. I turned my thoughts and memories of my experiences as a church kid into a post, and thought a few people would get a kick out of it. Little did I know, the post would resonate with many. The post went viral, and received over half a million views in just a few days. It was crazy – and SO much fun. I loved connecting with readers from all over the country, reminiscing together and sharing other experiences church kids hold dear.
You can check out 20 Signs You Grew Up a Church Kid for yourself, and enjoy a quick trip down memory lane.
To celebrate the holidays, and in my opinion the most WONDERFUL time of the year, I wanted to create a list of Christmas memories that those of us who grew up church kids will know, understand, and remember. So, break out your flannel jammies, pour a cup of cocoa into your Jesus is the Reason for the Season mug and throw on some Amy Grant or Michael W Smith, and let’s think about CHRISTMAS!
Since we already mentioned Amy Grant, she’ll kick things off for us…
1. The Christmas season did not officially begin until you listened to Amy Grant’s Christmas album. (We actually listened to it as a record!)
*Bonus Points – You too have a “Grown up Christmas List.”
And now you’re singing, “No more lives torn apart – and wars would never start, and time would heal all hearts….”
2. Someone in your life had one of these displayed in their home…
This“Santa at the Manger figurine” or some variation of it has become quite popular in many Christian homes.
3. Your parents (or grandparents) read the Christmas story on Christmas morning.
*Bonus points if it was BEFORE you could open presents.
*Bonus points if they read the story out of a HUGE family Bible.
*Bonus points if they read the Luke 2 version.
And now you are reciting in your head, “And a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.”
4. You played with your candle at a Candlelight Service.
Admit it- it was fun to see how much you could tip it without spilling the wax.
5. You know all about Operation Christmas Child, and have likely packed a box.
*You may have also browsed through a catalog to choose a goat, cow, or mosquito net for a child or family.
6. You were in some type of nativity play.
I was an angel several times, and got to play Mary twice. (My cabbage patch doll also starred as Jesus.) I also have to admit just how much I loved my angel halo made of gold tinsel.
7. You know the hand motions to Away in the Manger.
Go ahead, lay down your sweet head.
8. Speaking of Christmas songs, you remember singing all 4 stanzas (even the obscure ones) of the popular carols.
*Bonus points if you sang them from a hymnal.
9. Your family loved A Charlie Brown Christmas, because it told the REAL story of Christmas.
(I still love it for that reason! Go Linus go!)
10. You’ve been Christmas caroling.
*Bonus points if you’ve been caroling at a retirement home or to the home of a shut-in.
11. You know how to tell someone the story of Jesus’ birth using a candy cane.
*You may have also had a discussion/debate regarding whether it stood for a “J” for Jesus, or a shepherd’s crook
12. The song “Mary Did You Know” was EPIC to you when it first came out.
I still tear up when I hear, “The child that you delivered, will soon deliver you.” EVERY.TIME.
13. You or someone you know has something in their home (or has posted on Facebook) : “Let’s keep Christ in CHRISTmas.”
15. Your eyes went wide with shock and/or embarrassment when they would sing the line, “Ox and ass before Him bow, and He is in the manger now,” in Good Christian Men Rejoice.
They just said the a-word…in CHURCH! (That’s what always ran through my 9 year old head.)
16. You know that Advent is about so much more than opening a piece of chocolate from a paper calendar every day.
*Bonus points if you know that yes, the advent candles are supposed to be those colors. You know they didn’t just run out of purple candles, and throw in a pink for fun.
17. You dressed up for your church’s Christmas service.
When they could afford it,your parents likely bought you a new outfit just for this purpose. For many young girls, your dress likely involved velvet, lace, taffeta, and/or an over-sized bow.
19. Christmas service = CHOIR
My husband (who just so happens to be my pastor) is a phenomenal choir director. Our church doesn’t have a choir and part of me misses that at Christmas-time.
*Bonus points for being involved in some type of children’s choir or youth choir that performed at Christmas.
*Double bonus points if you sang something by Michael W. Smith. (My youth choir did Gloria, and did it terribly. My apologies Mr. Smith.)
20. Your home wouldn’t be decorated for Christmas without a nativity set.
*Bonus points if you were THRILLED when your parents allowed you to set up the figures on your own.
*Bonus points if you made some type of nativity craft in Sunday School.
No matter where you are now, what you believe, or how you choose to celebrate this time of year, it’s likely that your upbringing has influenced the way you approach Christmas. We have chosen to incorporate many of our childhood traditions into our family celebrations and have changed or omitted others. My hope and prayer for all of you is that this year you’ll find the true meaning of Christmas and be filled with JOY as you celebrate with family and friends.
Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! Thank you so much for sharing these Church Kid posts. It is so much fun to reminisce and connect with readers as we recall our childhood memories together.