Our Christmas Season 我们的圣诞节期

在美国,圣诞节是最大的,也是最忙碌的节日。虽然圣诞节只是在十二月的二十五日的那一天,但是这个节期是从感恩节开始一直到元旦。在整个十二月份里,人们为家人和朋友举办很多的派对和聚会,共度快乐的时光。圣诞节期也是美国众所周知的繁忙购物季节。人们都是为他们的孩子和相互买礼物。这些礼物就会在这个节日期间里互换,而最主要的是在圣诞夜(圣诞节的前一天的晚上)和圣诞节这两个时间里交换。

今年,我们的圣诞节还是会按照我们传统的方式来欢度。因为我父母的家与我太太父母的家离开我们自己的家很远。所以我们将会在圣诞节期的不同时候去看望他们。我太太的家人会在圣诞节的前一个礼拜来到我们家,而且会与我们度过整整一个礼拜的时间。在这段时间里,我们将会有大餐,而且向她的父母赠送礼物,还有孩子们的礼物交换。(在我们家里,大人就不交换礼物了,这样可以省一些钱。)

在圣诞夜,我们都会在晚上七点去教会,与教会里的弟兄姊妹一起唱有关耶稣诞生的圣歌。我们也会点蜡烛来庆祝,表示上帝的光照亮了世界的黑暗。(在圣经里对耶稣的一个方面的描写就是世上的光。)在教会里结束了那简短的礼拜以后,我们就回家相互交换礼物。当我们的孩子们还小的时候,我们会在圣诞节那一天给他们礼物。在圣诞夜的晚上,当他们熟睡的时候,我们就把给他们的礼物悄悄地放在圣诞树下。在圣诞节那一天,当他们醒来的时候就发现玩具和礼物在圣诞树下。对他们来说,这些都是惊喜。但是,我们的孩子们现在都已经长大,不再睡的那么早,所以我们就在圣诞夜交换礼物。

在圣诞节那一天, 我们就全家在家里度过。我们会玩游戏,在电视上看电影,要不就是在家里休息。而第二天,我和我儿子就会去看那在路易斯安那州的我的父母。我的父母是住在森林里的。我们去看望老人家,也会到他们附近的森林里去打猎。我们希望能够打到最美味的野味 - 鹿。几天之后,回家就要把装饰圣诞节的装饰品都放回到盒子里去,然后放到储藏室里,等明年再用。

对我家来说,圣诞节的意义远远超过购物和煮一些好吃的。圣诞节的最根本的目的是回顾耶稣基督的诞生。(圣诞节是庆祝基督来到人间。)耶稣诞生的故事记载在圣经《路家福音》第二章。每当我们打开圣诞礼物之前,我会读圣经中有关耶稣诞生的故事。这故事让我们记得这最美好的礼物已经赐给了我们。这礼物要比衣服、玩具或者电子游戏珍贵不知多少倍。这个礼物就是在耶稣基督里所含有的:生命的礼物、希望的礼物、爱的礼物;这是一个永远值得我们庆祝的礼物。


讨论问题:

1. 在哪里可以找到耶稣诞生的故事?

2. 你是否曾经参加过圣诞节派对?

3. 耶稣的另外一个名字或者头衔是什么?

Christmas is the busiest and biggest holiday of the year in America. Although the holiday is just on December 25th, the season lasts from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. During the entire month of December there are many parties and events in which people gather with family and friends to enjoy time together. Christmas is also known as the busiest shopping season in America. Most people buy gifts for their children and for one another. These gifts are exchanged throughout the season, but primarily on Christmas Eve (the night before Christmas) and Christmas Day.

This year my family will spend Christmas in our traditional way. Because my family and my wife’s family, live far away from us we will see them at different times of the Christmas season. My wife’s family will come to our home the week before Christmas and spend an entire week with us. We will have a large dinner together and then we will give gifts to her parents and to the children. (In our family the adults do not exchange gifts with one another. This helps to save money.)

On Christmas Eve we will gather with our church family at 7:00pm. We will sing songs about the birth of Jesus and light candles in celebrating the Light of God which has come into a dark world. (In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the Light of the World.) After the short service, my family will return home and exchange gifts with one another. When my children were younger we would give them gifts on Christmas morning. During the night when they were asleep we would place gifts for them under the Christmas tree. When they awoke the next morning they would find toys and gifts under the tree. It was all a surprise for them. Now my children are mostly grown and prefer to sleep late, so we open gifts the night before.

On Christmas Day we will spend time with just our family. We will play games and watch movies and spend the day resting. The next day, my son and I, will travel to see my parents in Louisiana. They live far in the woods. We will go to visit and to go hunting in the woods near their home. Our hope is to hunt for wild deer which are excellent for eating. After we return home, the next few days will be spent putting all the decorations back into boxes and into storage for next year.

For my family the celebration of Christmas is more than buying gifts and eating wonderful food. The primary purpose of Christmas is to think about the birth of Jesus Christ. (Christmas is the celebration of Christ) The story about Jesus’ birth is found in the Bible in Luke, chapter 2. Every year, before we open gifts, I will read this story aloud from the Bible. It reminds us that the greatest gift of all has been given. This gift is much better than clothes, toys, or electronics. This gift is the gift of life, hope, and love which is found in Jesus Christ - a gift which will always be worth celebrating.

 


QUESTIONS:

1. Where is the story about Jesus’ birth found?

2. Have you ever been to a Christmas party?

3. What is another name or term for Jesus?

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