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A Night in Bethlehem

Looking for a new, meaningful family Christmas tradition? Wondering how you can make this Christmas Eve more than just a night for putting Santa’s cookies and milk by the fireplace? Start a tradition they’ll never forget, and throw an authentic Bethlehem dinner party! Below is a step-by-step outline for turning this festive night into a tradition that lasts year after year, and what better way to immerse your family in the true meaning of Christmas than with “a night in Bethlehem!?”

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a-night-in-bethlehem_internal-copyStep 1: Invite your Family!

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What’s a party without an official invitation from Caesar Augustus himself? Present your family with a handwritten “royal decree” summoning them to the little town of Bethlehem. Complete with “Where, When, and What to Bring” section, be as creative as you like.

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 Step 2: Create Bethlehem!

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Making this dinner party as authentic as possible means no electricity! Light some candles and drape some sheets or blankets high above or around the table and replace chairs with pillows to give the room a tent-like feel. You may even want to have some instrumental music playing softly in the background. Nothing says “a night in Bethlehem” more than the sound of quiet harp music set to the sound of classic Christmas songs.

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Step 3: Make the Menu!a-night-in-bethlehem_internal

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            Now that you have created an atmosphere of Bethlehem, make your dinner party taste like
Bethlehem. Skip the Christmas cookies and eggnog, and only feast on what Mary and Joseph would have eaten during this time. Some ideas include chicken or fish, pita bread, honey, olives, grape juice, dates, and cheese to name a few!

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Step 4: Let the Party Begin!

Once the invitations have been delivered, Bethlehem has been created, and the menu has been made, the party can begin! Start the night by reading Luke 2:1-7.


(You might want to take a moment to reflect on the details of this passage. For example, explain how Mary and Joseph were summoned by Caesar Augustus, just like their invitations said! Consider how far they would have had to travel and what they might have been thinking or feeling during their long journey.) Gathered round your beautiful, Bethlehem feast, say a prayer, thanking God for the gift of His Son and the gift of the joyful, Christmas season. While the true meaning of Christmas might get more and more distorted, let this new family tradition bring your family back to the Bible – back to a little town called Bethlehem!



Haley Hamrick

A 23 year-old pastor’s wife, Haley is a teacher and nanny by day and a writer by night. With a degree in Family and Child Development from Liberty University, Haley loves encouraging both children and families in their walk with the Lord. Her repertoire of journals and notebooks attest to her deep love of dissecting God’s Word and finding new ways to apply it.

All stories by: Haley Hamrick