The Christmas season is a wonderful time of the year, filled with music, goodwill, lots of presents, and if you are lucky, lots of snow. It is also a time that the church celebrates the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Experience has shown that in many Nazarene churches we do a sufficient job of celebrating the Christmas event. We have Christmas parties which include the telling of the story of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, we have special worship services and musicals that focus on the real meaning of Christmas, and we may even show generosity to our community by working in the food pantry or visiting the local nursing home. In the midst of all these good activities have we missed the opportunity to celebrate Christmas and the holy season so that they impact our children in ways that change their relationship with God?
The church has always celebrated "holy days." These are days that the church recognizes as "set apart" and provide the opportunity for special observances and celebrations. Holy days, or holy seasons, give occasion to help children understand the master story of God from beginning to end and allows for the building of traditions as these days are celebrated from one year to the next. A listing of the holy days and seasons can be found in the Revised Common Lectionary. An overview of Advent and Christmas will be the focus of this article