Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mary and Joseph Dinner

Earlier I posted that one of our traditions at Christmas is to do a "Mary and Joseph" dinner. No matter when this comes up, I always get questions about it and this time was no different.

A few years ago I was reading in the December issue of the Ensign about how different members of the Church keep Christ in Christmas. One family had a "Mary and Joseph" dinner. They ate things that they might have eaten as they journeyed to Bethlehem and discuss what the journey might have been like for them. Of course they also went into THE Christmas story.

When I read it, I knew it had to be one of our traditions. We had recently quit being with either family on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning and were in need of some new traditions to start with our little family. It was pretty close to Christmas, but I talked to Jeff and we both agreed it would be a perfect thing for our fam. We've done it every year since.

Right now our discussion is pretty short and age appropriate for our little kids. They love it though and have started asking if we're going to do it again this year.

This is how we will be doing it this year. We'll have dinner downstairs on blankets since Mary and Joseph didn't have a table. We'll have a fire in the fireplace because that would have been the only light they would have had to eat by if the sun had gone down. (We'll also have the tree lights on. maybe for the stars in the sky?) Things we typically eat for this meal are fish (much to Lyndsi's dismay), pita or flat bread, cantaloupe, grapes, almonds, cheese cubes, olives (much to my dismay. lol.), pomegranates, fig newtons (because what do you do with a fig?) and sometimes a dessert like baklava. (I know that's maybe more Greek-but it was to get the honey in.) This year we'll be trying something called rugelach for a little treat. Oh and the part the kids love-no utinsels. We all eat with our hands. (Luckily it's mostly finger food anyway.) We also serve either grape juice or sparkling grape juice. It's by far not a filling meal, but it is a special one we all look forward too.

We'll be combining this tradition with the one we have of reading the nativity story while placing each character in their spot in the stable that sits under our family tree.

So there ya have it. The Mary and Joseph dinner. :)


Jamie said...

I love that tradition! Very awesome!

Anisa said...

we do something similar but we call it our journey dinner. it is something we have done as a family since we were kids. I tried to do it a couple of years ago as just our sunday dinner, but my brother (who is 30) had to eat at mc donald's on his way home. so now we have regular sunday dinner and then do the journey dinner as a sort of after dinner appetizer.

Cami said...

Love that pic of little McKay!
What a sweet little post.

Michelle said...

What a fun tradition. Our Ward did this last year as our Ward Party and we ate on the floor on blankets and wore towels and bath robes to simulate the clothing...the kids loved it.