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We focus on so many aspects of Christmas that when it comes time to say a Christmas dinner blessing, I’m not sure that we make the most of that opportunity. While we may feel like simply breathing a sigh of relief or shouting a quick Hallelujah!, maybe it’s time to look at those few moments before we eat and take it up a notch.
Picture it: The family is seated around the table. Everything is finally done. The fragrances of favorite food as well as the faces of family and friends have filled your sense of thankfulness to overflowing. Now it’s time to “return thanks.” Why not make it thoughtful and meaningful? Why not take a little time to plan it out?
Perhaps your family always asks Dad or Grandmother to say the Christmas blessing–they probably don’t need any help at all. When I was growing up, my grandfather always said the blessing at Christmas. I remember his quiet, humble voice. He took his time and said his prayer in such a personal way that there was no doubt he was communicating with the Lord. Those were sacred, holy moments that I remember well, and I look back on them with heartfelt gratitude. Maybe the baton has passed, however, and you’re looking for a special Christmas dinner grace to say this year. I love the one below.
Christmas Eve Dinner Prayer
This makes the perfect Christmas Eve dinner prayer. This poem by Robert Louis Stevenson is simple and short enough for even young children to understand and be able to sit through. It celebrates and still encourages us to reflect deeply on the true gift of Christmas–Jesus!
Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
Write Your own Christmas Dinner Prayer
You can write your own Christmas dinner prayer and make it specific to your family and the events that have gone on over the course of the year. Here are some tips:
- Start with praise. Praise the Lord for Christmas. Thank God for the significant events of Christmas, and for bringing Christ into the world. Thank Him for the salvation that Christmas offers us. Praise the Lord for how He has carried you through significant events over the past year. Lord, we thank you for Dad’s new job and for helping us find a house and friends in our new town. Lord, we’re grateful that you brought Nana through her surgery last month…
- Ask God to bless our world leaders, people who are hurting in our communities and globally, and the ones of your family who are not able to be with you this year. Pray specifically for the families in Newtown, Connecticut, for whom this Christmas will be particularly painful.
- Thank God for His many gifts, both tangible and intangible. Thank God specifically for the good character qualities you have seen growing in your kids over the past year, things like integrity, generosity, and patience. Father, thank you for blessing my son with an attitude of diligence at his first job. Or, Thank you for the kindness we’ve seen grow in our daughter as she has learned to share with her baby sister. Thank Him for His faithful provision for your family.
- Bless the ones around the table. Ask God to bless each person gathered at your table with His love and grace, and with a deeper knowledge of who He is.
Don’t overlook the significance of praying together as a family, hands and hearts joined together around the table. It is a sacred, holy moment that they will remember well. It’s what Christmas is all about.
Article by Faithful Provisions contributor Rebecca Ingram Powell.
See 5 more Christmas Dinner Prayers on Faithful Provisions.
I am linking up today with Tablescape Thursdays at Between Naps on the Porch. Otherwise, there is no way I would have got my Christmas table decorated and set already. Thank you to Carolyn from Aiken Home and Gardens for inspiring me to use my red transferware. I was going to use either my Christmas dishes or Friendly Village set. But this red definitely seems Christmas-y to me.
My table has lots of memories on it. I have my mother-in-law’s silver that she bought before she was married, piece by piece every Friday night after getting her paycheck from Dodge Main in Detroit. I have the champagne glasses she got as wedding gifts in 1949. Some of the red transferware is from my grandmother, who purchased it with her first paycheck working as a tour guide at the Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, where Louisa May Alcott wrote her famous Little Women.
My table also has linen napkins that are probably around 100 years old, from my mother’s second husband’s first wife’s mother. Yes. And somehow I got them. Barely used, they are soft and lovely.
An angel smiles benignly down from a red cake stand, surrounded by glittery poinsettia leaves and pine cones.
This china is Bristol by Crown Ducal. I inherited eight place settings from my grandmother, but a number of the pieces were chipped and crazed. The cost of buying additional pieces was prohibitive, so I began a piece-by-piece search for red transferware in antique stores in the area and even out of state. I have a nice collection now, and mix them up altogether in my table settings, but my favorite pieces remain those from my grandmother . . .
We got the table and chairs years ago from someone in our neighborhood having a garage sale. We had packed up the kids to go off for a picnic at the lake one Saturday and passed by a driveway where I saw this beautiful table with six chairs, the seats all embroidered in different floral patterns . . .
The wood was blond, but we sanded it down and painted it an antique white.
hmmm . . . I wonder if kitty will leave my table alone?