Another LDS Christmas tradition is to watch the Church's annual "First Presidency Christmas Devotional" which is broadcast from the Conference Center (at Temple Square) to church buildings worldwide.
Christmas programs sometimes include a portrayal of the Nativity, with children and adults dressed and playing the parts of Joseph, Mary, Shepherds, Wise men, and angels.
Christmas Gifts for the NeedyOne common LDS Christmas tradition is to help provide Christmas for those in need. This usually means gifts for children and food for the family. A local ward determines the needs of its members (and often others in the community who are not members) and asks for help from the rest of the ward. Many wards setup a decorated Christmas tree in the Church building's foyer, and hang Christmas tags from the tree. On these tags are the items needs, for example a tag may read, "Girl's clothes size 5," "Boy's toy age 7," "basket of fruit," or "a dozen cookies."
Members of the ward take the tags home, purchase the items, and return them to their local leaders who organize, wrap, and distribute the needed goods.
Nativity ScenesOne common LDS Christmas tradition is to display a Nativity scene or portray the Nativity using live actors and sometimes even real animals. Some stakes hold an annual Christmas Nativity Activity where people throughout the community, of any denomination, bring their Nativity sets and display them at a local church building. All are invited to come see the displays, visit with one another, and partake of light refreshments.
Christmas Service ProjectsAs members of the Church we work hard to focus our efforts on serving those around us, including our neighbors, friends, families, and community. Local wards may have an LDS Christmas tradition of providing service at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities. Many times the youth are organized to go Christmas caroling, visit the sick and elderly, and helping those in need with food, yard work, and other services.
You are very welcome to come worship with us this Christmas season as a local ward/branch near you.
Christmas Cookies for the PrisonI once lived in a stake that had an LDS Christmas tradition of baking Christmas cookies for those who are in prison. Each year Latter-day Saints would bake dozens of cookies (of all kinds) which were packaged in Ziplock baggies with a set of 6 cookies each. These cookies were then delivered by another organization which worked with the local prison to meet their specific regulations.
Each year, thousands of cookies are baked, providing a simple Christmas gift to those who often receive nothing for Christmas.
What Christmas traditions do you have?
Visitors are always welcome to join us in any of our Christmas activities, service projects, or worship services. Come worship with us this Christmas season by finding a local ward or branch near you.