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How to Trim Your Christmas Tree with Intention

Beginning a New Advent Tradition from the Rev. Kathryn L. King


Most of us are reopening that box of ornaments and the memories they evoke--places we have visited, gifts from friends, legacies of prior generations, a first Christmas together as a married couple, or the birth of a child. These ornaments tell our story and connect ours to the story of the birth of Jesus, the greatest gift we have ever received, without asking, and one which remains with us always. It is good to remember this gift and give thanks as we trim our Christmas trees each year. A simple practice of singing "O Christmas Tree" and saying a prayer will do. If you'd like a sample guide, follow the steps below.



Trimming the Tree with Joy and Thanksgiving


A Litany for Decorating the Christmas Tree

Join in singing "O Christmas Tree"

Join in saying a Christmas Prayer together


A Litany for Decorating the Christmas Tree


The Leader begins and the tree trimmers respond.


Leader: It's time to trim our Christmas tree. It's time to thank God for coming to us--Immanuel--God with us. Response: We thank the lord for dwelling with us and being with us in this moment and all the moments of our lives. Leader: As we put the tree in its stand with its top pointing heavenward,

Response: We thank you, dear Jesus, for coming down from heaven above to stand on this earth on our behalf in the power of love.

Leader: As we string the light upon our tree,

Response: We thank you, dear Jesus, for being born to us as the Light of the World, a Light that no darkness can put out.

Leader: As we place our ornaments on the tree,

Response: We thank you, blessed Jesus, for decorating our lives with your peace and joy.

Leader: As we wrap the garland around our tree,

Response: We thank you, dear Jesus, for being wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger in Bethlehem to love and save us for evermore.


Join in singing "O Christmas Tree"


O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, How lovely are thy branches! O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

How lovely are thy branches!

Not only green when summer's here

But in the coldest time of year.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

How lovely are thy branches!


O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

How sturdy God hath made thee!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

How sturdy God hath made thee!

Thou bid us to place faithfully

Our trust in God, unchangingly!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

How sturdy God hath made thee!


Join in saying a Christmas Prayer together


Lord Jesus, this Christmas tree reminds us that your love for us is evergreen and never fades or changes. Your mercies are ever new. Your grace is ever present. Your gifts of love are constant and sure.


Help us this Advent and Christmas season, around this tree, to remember that each gift we will receive and each gift we will give is in thanksgiving--for the greatest gift, the giving of yourself to us and to the whole world on Christmas night, that we might be blessed with your love and everlasting life. Amen.

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