the Christmas spirit tag

Hello there! I’ve been tagged for this tag by a good friend of mine. I’m not allowed to say who she is (for reasons you’ll soon understand), but I’m thankful for her and for her tagging me, and I’m excited to do her tag.

But first:

the rules

  1. This is an anonymous tag. DO NOT link back to the creator or whoever tagged you — the goal of this tag is to spread Christmas spirit anonymously. Consider it a sort of “pay it forward” — you don’t know who started it, but you’re there to continue it. You can say thank you, of course, in the comments of whoever tagged you, but it’s all very “Secret Santa” when you create your post.
  2. Answer the copy-and-paste-able questions (GIFs, photos, song lyrics, poem extracts, etc. are all welcome).
  3. Share one thing Christmas taught you.
  4. Tag as many people as you can thing to help spread Christmas cheer around the blogosphere (my word, that rhymed).

And now…


the questions

(and my answers)

What is your favorite Christmas Bible verse?

I absolutely love all of Isaiah 53, especially in the NIV (which is strange, because in almost every other case I pick the ESV). It’s not technically a “Christmas Bible verse,” I guess, but it reminds me that Jesus came to die. That the reason He was born as a baby was so he could save us from our sins. And in that way, it really is a Christmas verse. As is nearly every verse in the entire Bible (:

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

~ Isaiah 53:1-3 NIV

What is your favorite Christmas carol?

My favorite traditional carol is “What Child is This”

Nails, spears shall pierce him through
The cross be born for me, for you
Hail, hail the Word made flesh
The Babe, the Son of Mary

~ William Chatterton Dix

… but I also love Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God” (the whole album, honestly, but the title song specifically). And the new verses added this year are so beautiful!

Wanderers in the wilderness
Oh, hear a voice is crying
Prepare the way, make straight the paths
Your King has come to die

~ Andrew Peterson

(As you can see, I tend to like “Christmas” verses and songs that reference Easter — because after all, what is Christmas without Easter?)

What gets you in the holiday Christmas mood?

I edited that question, because my family celebrates Advent. This means that we spend the first twenty-four days of December (and sometimes even part of November) lighting a wreath of candles, singing Advent songs (here’s one of my favorites), and doing our Advent calendar. Now, I know a lot of people do this, but here’s the thing: we do it instead of a lot of Christmas things. We don’t put up a Christmas tree or decorations (yet). Instead, we’re talking about the coming of Christ. What it was like for the Israelites to await their Messiah. What it’s like for us to await our King’s eventual second coming.

Christmas, Candles, Fir Green, Advent

It’s a bit of a somber season, but I absolutely love it, and it makes Christmas all that much more amazing — because then, of course, we basically spend all of January celebrating Christ’s birth! We set up our tree Christmas Eve, listen to Christmas music (this year we’re planning on watching the BTLOG livestream recording), reminisce over all our old ornaments, and get into the “Christmas mood.”

Which is my answer to the actual question.

smiling boy beside Christmas tree with lighted string lights

What are three traditions your family has for Christmas?

  • Setting up our tree on Christmas Eve.
  • Gingerbread cake for (a very early) breakfast on Christmas Day.
  • “Giving gifts to Jesus” — picking out items and services from World Vision to send to people who need them, before we open our own presents.

 Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.”

~ Matthew 25:34-39 ESV

What’s your favorite part of Christmas?

I love giving gifts to Jesus (see above) as well as singing carols at church. It’s so much fun to hear the body of Christ singing together about His birth. It’s one of the things that makes me fill with awe and wonder and longing (which are, as you may have noticed, my favorite things).

white music note paper

What do you think people should do more often that would make Christmas more magical?

Celebrate Advent! That and think about how Christmas isn’t just a day or season: it’s a reminder that Christ became human for us. So He could die for us. He suffered the ultimate penalty because He loves us. Shouldn’t that change how we live? Not just in December, but for the whole year?

What are some of your favorite Christmas books?

Christ in Christmas Shopping Guide | Creating a Great Day

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp is a great family read-aloud for Advent.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Anthony Horowitz ...

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of the only “Christmas” novels that I’ve read and enjoyed.

P.J. Lynch's Blog

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski is a lovely Christmas storybook.

The Frivolous Bibliophile: Puffin in Bloom: Children's ...

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, while not a “Christmas book,” has one of my favorite Christmas scenes in a story ever as well as lots of other enjoyable and memorable happenings.

Book Details : Letters from Father Christmas - J. R. R ...

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien is a sweet record of the letters he wrote to his children.

The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories Buch portofrei ...

“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry is a deserving classic worth reading every year.

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John is one of my favorite Christian novels, and a main part of the action happens on Christmas.

Christmas with Anne and Other Holiday... book by L.M ...

Christmas with Anne by L.M. Montgomery is a collection of short stories perfect for any fans of Anne Shirley (or anyone who enjoys a good laugh).

And here’s a marvelous list of Christmas picture books for anyone hoping to raid their local library.

Have you ever written a “from Santa Claus” letter to anyone?

No.

(Santa Claus has never been part of my holiday traditions.)


one thing Christmas taught me

Christmas taught me that Jesus loves me. I mean, honestly, why would God come to earth and die for someone He didn’t love? I don’t deserve that love, but I’m constantly overwhelmed by it.

Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away our sin
Behold the Lamb of God, the life and light of men
Behold the Lamb of God Who died and rose again
Behold the Lamb of God Who comes to take away our sin

~ Andrew Peterson

AP_BTLOG2019-CVR - Centricity Music

I’ll close with two final recommendations: an advent meditation by Chris Armstrong, and a liturgy for setting up a Christmas tree by Douglas McKelvey. (Both from my favorite site The Rabbit Room.)


I tag…

Madi Grace // Sydney // Arabella // Hannah // Annie Cate // Annie Xia // Allison // Aria

And you! The above list is just what I came up with on the spot, people who I think might do this kind of tag on their blogs. But anyone and everyone are welcome to steal this tag and do it, no matter what kind of blog you have or whether you know me or not.


the copy-and-pasteable questions

What is your favorite Christmas bible verse?
What is your favorite Christmas carol?
What gets you in the holiday [or Christmas] mood?
What are three traditions your family has for Christmas?
What’s your favorite part of Christmas?
What do you think people should do more often that would make Christmas more magical?
What are some of your favorite Christmas books?
Have you ever written a “from Santa Claus” letter to anyone?


in closing

Thanks for reading, and I hope you do this tag on your blog! If you don’t have a blog but want to do it, you’re welcome to share your answers in the comments here.

I hope you have a very happy Christmas (the British say it better) and a glorious New Year full of joy.

Until next time,

Maya 🎄🟈 ⛪♱

all photos from Unsplash (except the covers :))

22 thoughts on “the Christmas spirit tag

  1. I don’t know where our copy of Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas or the Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey went. Maybe the Grinch pinched them. Treasures of the Snow does have some wonderful Christmas scenes. I think it’s time for me to re-read that one.
    Your family has some lovely Christmas traditions. I like that idea of giving gifts to Jesus. (also, gingerbread for breakfast sounds wonderful.)
    Merry Christmas, Maya!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the tag!! Ohh, I only found out about Andrew Peterson about this year. Have you ever been to one of his Christmas Behold the Lamb of God shows? They sound wonderful. The only Anne of Green Gables books I’ve read is a version that I think was unabridged, but over Christmas break I started watching the Netflix adaptation, Anne With an E, and I’m in love with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have! Twice, actually, and it was amazing. This year was the best (:
      I love the Anne of Green Gables books! There are some older movies of which the first one is fairly book-accurate and interesting, the second is okay, and the third not worth anyone’s time. I watched the first episode of Anne with an E but stopped after that because it seemed to be messing with the story a lot, and I’ve heard bad things about it since, but I suppose it might be all right. Just not really based on the book anymore…
      Have you read any of L.M. Montgomery’s other books?

      Liked by 1 person

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