In the midst of the busyness, pause.
We all need reminders to slow down and pause – especially 5 days before Christmas! It seems like it gets harder and harder to keep the little baby in the manger at the center of it all. There are many ways to stop and remember the reason for the season, but one of my favorites is the Night of Darkness.
The Night of Darkness is a tradition we created about 3 years ago and I hope the Garibaldis will keep it going for many years to come. It is a very simple, yet meaningful tradition that requires minimal preparation but has left a big impact on our children.
We choose a day in late December before Christmas (usually the 23rd). The essence of the night is that we get to experience a night living at first, only by candlelight, and then later in the evening, by the light of the Christmas tree. Through the course of the night we go through a short family devotional to teach the kids about physical darkness vs. spiritual darkness. This leads to the Christmas story and the fact that God’s gift to us is Jesus – the Light of the World!
It’s at this point that the light of the Christmas tree goes on to represent the light of Jesus coming into the world. Though it is still dark, we can see so much more!
We finish the night by getting the kids in their pajamas, grabbing blankets and special animals and loading into the car to drive around and look at neighborhood Christmas light displays.
It’s a fun night, very memorable, and meaningful too! Just the kind we all need to help us PAUSE and come closer to the manger this Christmas.
To download a PDF version of the Garibaldi Family “Night of Darkness” Devotion – including Bible passages to look at and questions to discuss as a family – click below:
How does your family steal away meaningful moments among the craziness of Christmas? We’d love to hear your fun family traditions! Leave us a comment below and you’ll be entered to win one of our new burlap boards!