Traditions are important to me, but I try to think long and hard before adding any new ones, because simplicity is also important. But this tradition that we started just a couple years ago met all the criteria with flying colors: simple, sustainable, and meaningful.
I first heard about the idea of hosting a Shepherd’s Supper from Jamie Cook of @wander_and_scout, and I loved it right away. It’s basically this: one evening before Christmas (it could be Christmas Eve, but it could also be another time) eat a simple meal similar to what shepherds at the time of Christ’s birth would have eaten. Fruits, nuts, flat breads, cheeses. Eat outdoors under the stars, weather permitting, or on a blanket near your twinkling Christmas Tree. The authenticity of the meal isn’t really the point, rather the experience and focus on the events surrounding the birth of the Savior, so don’t stress too much about the food. Cheese and crackers work just fine.
This year, as we celebrate Christmás, intentionally focusing even more on Jesus Christ, I knew a Shepherd’s Supper was one of the traditions we were definitely keeping. It’s simple, delicious, and so sweet.
We lucked out with great weather here in California, so we took our supper onto the front porch, watched the sunset, and waited for the stars to come out. We read the account of the shepherds in Luke 2, and listened to carols about their angelic visitors.
The reminder that the humblest among God’s children were important enough to receive a heavenly announcement is one we can all use. Everyone around us is divinely loved. We are divinely loved. We all matter. And we will find joy as we come unto Christ.
Here’s our menu (though this is totally easy and you can customize it to suit your family)
Trader Joe’s Pita Bread
Mini Naan Breads (Sabra brand from Walmart)
Multigrain Pita Crackers (Trader Joe’s)
Fruits & Veggies:
Dried figs (from Walmart)
Dried dates (from Costco)
Feta-stuffed olives (from Walmart)
Sliced red onion
Honeyed goat cheese (Trader Joe’s)
Brie cheese (Trader Joe’s)
Caramalized onion cheddar (Trader Joe’s)
Sharp cheddar (Walmart)
Gyro meat with lamb and beef (Trader Joe’s)
Here’s our program:
Pray over food and eat
Read Luke 2:8-18
Sing or listen to “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”
(We love using the Sacred Music App from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It’s free and full of sheet music and recordings of so much incredible music, including these Christmas hymns!)
If you host your own Shepherd’s Supper, I’d love to hear about it! Come drop me a comment or a message on Instagram! May your Christmas week be full of love and meaningful traditions!