For our church Christmas dinner this year, we were invited to dress up in biblical costumes and imagine that we were in Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. Unfortunately, we were one of only two families that actually dressed up, and the meal served was ham and potatoes. That was fine, but it put my wife and I in the mood to go a little bit further at home. So when Christmas Eve came, we decided to serve a meal closer to what might have been eaten in Bethlehem during that time period. It’s certainly not accurate, but it did give a better feel for what it might have been like to be there and gave us things to talk about that centered more on the birth of Jesus instead of presents and Santa Clause.



  1. Without unfolding the legs, place a folding table on the floor. Serve dinner on it and sit on the floor around it, without chairs.
  2. Turn out the lights and use natural light from candles (good), chimney lamps (better), or Herodian clay oil lamps (best).
  3. Don’t be in a rush to get done. Eat slowly and enjoy each other’s company.