1. What are some of your warm “waiting for Christmas” memories? What is it about Advent and Christmas family traditions that make them so special? Do you have negative memories mixed with the nostalgia? What role does gift-giving play in Christmas nostalgia?
2. Why do we go to so much effort to get families together at Christmastime? What does your family do when families overlap and there are conflicts over dates? Do you sometimes end up rushing from one event to another? How do you deal with that?
3. Allan Rudy-Froese says that he finds some Advent hymns and texts disturbing. Should we find the words of Mary’s song comforting or fearful (Luke 1:46-55)? What Advent activities help us to move beyond the warm fuzzy image of the Christmas story?
4. For some people, the emphasis on family at Christmas is depressing. What happens to people in your community without family nearby or who have dysfunctional families? How can we do a better job of reaching out to include others at our family tables?