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Iroquois Principal's Corner

Welcome to the holiday season!

Christmas is unique in that so many traditions develop around this holiday. I can recall my grandma putting an orange in the bottom of my stocking as the healthy option amidst all the candy canes and a mini box of Russell Stovers candies. I can recall waking up well before daybreak, hoping my parents were suddenly as interested as I was to open presents.

I remember going to church on Christmas day, singing Joy to the World and Once in Royal David’s City, knowing full well my parents would carry on very lengthy conversations after church got out, prolonging the already painful wait of opening presents.

The sights, the sounds, and the smells of food only baked once a year still fill me with a unique excitement.

I love Christmas and the many traditions that come along with it. 

I’m now a parent who gets to continue and also create new Christmas traditions. One tradition I’ve grown to appreciate with my kids is reading Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. It’s only a few paragraphs, but conversations and questions my kids have that spring out of Luke 2 are so special.

What was it like to be a shepherd? What’s a manger? What is a census? I get to answer questions and also ask some of my own. What would it be like to see angels? How do you think Mary and Joseph felt when they saw them? If you were a shepherd and saw Mary and Joseph, what would you say? How do you think Mary felt being Jesus’ mom?

This time with my kids is priceless for me, but more valuable to me is that we get to spend time thinking and learning about the introduction of our Savior to this world. We get to talk about Jesus in a setting that is not church or school. They get to hear from me, another adult in their life, how much I love Jesus. This tradition for me and my kids is as intentional as much as it is special. 

I encourage you this Christmas season to read Luke 2 to your kids.

Ask them “what-do-you-think” questions. Have a conversation with them about what life was like in Bethlehem.

Not only is it an enjoyable tradition, but it can be formational to your kid’s faith journey.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas. May you be filled with the joy of Jesus as you celebrate his birth.

—John Barkel

John Barkel

John Barkel

Grand Rapids Christian
Elementary School
Iroquois Campus


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