Christmas and traditions go together like hot cocoa and marshmallows. Whether it’s opening pajamas on Christmas Eve or baking cookies for Santa, each new family gets to choose which traditions they will carry on to the next generation.

As an adult, church has always been a major part of my life, so going to the Christmas Eve service every year is a no-brainer; it’s such a special way to celebrate our Savior’s birth. But it wasn’t until I had my daughter that I realized I was creating a family tradition that I had never had. While I had many traditions that were wonderful and magical, Christmas Eve services were just not one of them.

Last year’s Christmas, my daughter, Charlotte, was 8-months-old, and it was her first Christmas Eve/Candlelight service to attend. As a member of the worship team, I was to sing “Silent Night” at the end of the night. I left my husband and daughter on the balcony to walk down to the stage, and, as I grabbed my mic, the lights dimmed and candles were being lit all around me. The congregation was beautiful. As I got ready to sing, I heard my daughter babbling loudly from the balcony. At that very moment, I was overwhelmed with gratitude, thankful that God had allowed me to give my daughter an experience that I had never had. The experience of a true celebration of Jesus’s birth in His church.

Because of Jesus, coming as a baby and then dying on a cross for my sins, I am able to experience His neverending joy, peace, and love, and I, because of Him, am able to share that joy, peace, and love with my own daughter. I am able to show her what it is to worship with others who also love Him. I have been given the blessing and the utmost responsibility of showing her who God is, and Christmas Eve service will always be a part of that.

I pray she, too, will choose to carry on this Christmas Eve tradition with her own family one day. While Santa, Christmas lights, trees, and presents are all so incredibly magical and have their own special place, the sweetest, most meaningful tradition of all is celebrating the true meaning of Christmas–and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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