Living Nativity

    With all the hubbub leading up to the holidays, all of the shopping, all of the baking and the cooking, all of the picking up of relatives at the airport, sometimes it can be hard to sit down and simply reflect on the meaning behind the holiday. Catching up with friends and reaching your yearly quota for sweets is fine and dandy but at the end of it all, maybe you just want to sit and reflect and have a sacred moment or two to bring in the holidays. Thankfully, Portland, Oregon offers a few religious themed holiday celebrations.

    For years my family has attended the free concert at Portland Christian Center. This performance, featuring a full orchestra, adult, youth, kids and hand bell choirs, is a true treat for Christmas lovers of all faiths. The music and production is top notch and the price, you can’t beat it: Free! The concert is done for this season, but get on the list for your free tickets early. They “sell” out fast. Portland Christian Center is located off of the Beaverton Hillsdale Highway at 5700 Southwest Dosch in Portland.

    Live nativity: Nothing says Christmas like visiting one of the many live nativity scenes around the city of Portland. Some of these are free to the public, some ask for a donation and others cost a few bucks (no pun intended). These live nativities bring to life the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus. Camels, donkeys, pigs, goats, and, of course, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus are all on display. It’s a great way to reflect on, and enjoy the Christmas season. Lynwood Church near Gresham and Living Hope Church in Vancouver offer a couple of the best.
    Christmas Mass/Christmas Eve services: These are one of my favorite ways to reflect on the season before the day of Christmas commences. Most masses and services include music, a brief sermon, food and, of course, fellowship. Some great services are located at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin, and St. Mary’s Cathedral n Downtown Portland.

    Celebrate the charity and givingness of Christmas by feeding the homeless at the Portland Rescue Mission. My children love to do this every Thanksgiving, and now it’s become a yearly tradition during the Christmas season as well. To volunteer at the Rescue Mission, contact them at: 503-MISSION.

    However you decide to celebrate this year, have a safe and very happy Christmas!

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