Teachable moments at Christmas: Feasting

My family are definitely foodies. We’ll use any excuse to gather around the table to eat.

Whether that’s special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, inviting friends around for pizza on a Friday night, or our children’s friends coming back to ours for hot chocolate and snacks after kids’ club. We really do love to eat! And when family and friends are involved it’s even better. This festive season is no exception and we’ll enjoy joining with others to feast together.

Here are some ideas to help us make eating together a teachable moment – I know that I’ll be using them!

  1. Hospitality
    We can talk to our children about why we are being hospitable and opening our home to love and care for others, and why this is especially important for those who are feeling sad or lonely at this time. Talk about the different people who would have visited Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
  2. Meals
    Invite others to bring part of the meal, especially if we have friends from different cultures. This could help spread the cost too. Does a particular dish have a special meaning for us? Let’s explain why. For me, marzipan balls dipped in chocolate always bring back memories of my grandma. Talk about what Jesus’ family, the shepherds and wise men might have eaten at that time.
  3. Gratitude
    As we eat together, invite everyone to share something they are grateful to God for in this season. Nothing is too big or too small to be grateful for. Talk about what the people at Jesus’ birth would have been grateful for?
  4. Prayer
    As the meal comes to end we could use a box of chocolates to help us to pray. Allocate each particular chocolate a theme to pray for and share them out. For example, if you get the chocolate in a purple wrapper pray for family members, or if you choose a green triangle chocolate pray for those who don’t have a home.
  5. Beyond the table
    Feasting together doesn’t have to mean sitting around a table – we could bake cookies or make fudge with our children and deliver them to our neighbours or those who serve our community. Perhaps we could even include an encouraging note. As we bake together, we could talk about how we can show God’s love to others and spread the good news of Christmas just like the angel did all those years ago.

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