Some Christmas reading to inspire your spirit of the season

Are you “all in,” or want to be, when it comes to having and sharing the spirit of Christmas? Got time to do some light reading that just might bolster your spirit of the season? Check out our denomination’s official website to see a sleigh full (or a manger full?) of literary gifts that may help churches open hearts and minds, and even doors, to share the real message of Christmas with the world.

Here is just a sampling of the articles featured at www.umc.org. But be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the articles you read, because on some pages you will find links to even more articles—sort of like finding gifts inside of gifts. Enjoy!

Five things you may not know about Christmas

We know the stories in the Bible, attend Advent and Christmas Eve worship each year, listen to tons of Christmas carols, and have seen just about every Christmas movie and special. We United Methodists know a lot about Christmas, but like most things there is always more to learn. Here are a few lesser-known tidbits.  Learn more…

The Christmas Conference: 10 days that started a church

For many of us Christmas morning means lounging in our pajamas, eating delicious food and slowly opening gifts. For those who started the Methodist church in America, their Christmas Eve in 1784 was the first of ten days of serious church business. In the end, their gift to us was the formation of a new denomination that would change history. Learn more…

Tips for Keeping Christmas Holy (Infographic)

Here are some helpful tips for keeping Christmas holy for you and your family. Print the Infographic image and post it in your church or your home. Learn more…

United Methodists around the world celebrate Christmas

Enjoy this photographic Christmas around the World slideshow, with inspiring images contributed by churches and photographers in Africa, Asia, Europe and America. Why not share it with you congregation during this Christmastide season? Learn more…

Sad at Christmas? Advice for coping with holiday blues

In December, we watch “magical” Christmas movies, shop from stores promising a special season, and hear songs proclaiming this as “the most wonderful time of the year.” We feel pressure to be jolly, but sometimes we’re not. If you or someone you love is struggling with the Christmas blues, you are not alone. Many people find the season difficult. To help you through what may be a challenging Christmas season, we sought sound advice from United Methodist pastors, counselors, and others. Learn more…

How an immigrant family found room at the inn

“Who will give lodging to these pilgrims who are weary of traveling the roads?”

As a child in Mexico City, Elizabeth recited a version of this line every year at Christmastime. She and her neighbors — decked out as a sort of mobile Nativity scene — marched down their block re-enacting the search for room in the inn. The children knocked on doors and could expect at least a few rejections before finally a neighbor welcomed them inside. There, they enjoyed a party featuring delicious food, warm camaraderie and a piñata ready to burst with candy.

The tradition, popular in Mexico and increasingly in the U.S., is called Las Posadas. The Spanish word posada means inn or lodging. Think of the ritual as a bit like trick-or-treat but with a message of Feliz Navidad. Learn more..