10 Ways Mormons Celebrate Christmas

lights at Temple Square

Do Mormons have their own ways of celebrating Christmas? You bet we do.

10. Eating weird casseroles

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints love to meet together, and many congregations have a Christmas potluck dinner where they can meet together with friends and celebrate the season and the birth of Christ.

Spanish Chicken Casserole

4 double chicken breasts, cooked           12 corn tortillas cut into chunks                                           1 medium onion 3/4 cup milk

1  4-oz can of green chilis                          1 can crm of chicken soup

2 cans crm of mushroom soup                 2 lbs. grated mild cheddar cheese

Mix together the soups, milk, chilis, and onions.  Tear the tortillas into bite-size bits and stir in.  Set aside for at least 30 minutes for tortillas to soften.  In a greased casserole dish, layer the soup mixture, the chicken chunks, and the cheese.  Do at least two complete layers, ending with cheese on top.  Cover and bake for 1 hour at 325º.

9. Celebrating according to their local traditions

Mormons live in 177 countries. Wherever they live, Mormons celebrate Christmas according to their local customs, such as Mormon apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf leading the recent German Christmas tradition of the Christkindlmarkt parade.

German Sprinerle Christmas Cookies

4 eggs 1 pound confectioners’ sugar          2 teaspoons anise extract 4 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour          2 teaspoons baking powder

In a large bowl, beat eggs and add the anise extract and confectioners’ sugar. Continue beating until well combined. Sift together the flour and baking powder; stir into the egg mixture, dough will be quite stiff.  Roll out dough to 3/8 inch thickness. Imprint with a springerle board and cut apart. Place cookies onto a cookie sheet and let rest uncovered overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake cookies for 7 to 10 minutes.

8. Going to the temple to look at Christmas lights

Temple Square at Christmas

Mormons build temples all over the world. These special buildings are houses of the Lord. Temple grounds are often decorated beautifully for Christmas to celebrate the birth of the Savior.

7. Caroling

Mormons love to sing. Mormon congregations sing during each week’s worship service. Christmas is a great excuse for Mormons to sing in public without anyone looking at them weird.

6. Drinking alcohol-free eggnog

Mormons are not immune from the eggnog bug that hits the world every December, but Mormons do not drink alcohol. Their code of health leads to longer healthier lives.

Egg Nog
(Use irradiated eggs for safety.  Or wash shells with soap before cracking.  Dry the shells.  Never use damaged eggs.  Serve Egg Nog in a large punch bowl set in a platter of ice cubes to keep it cool.)

 12 eggs, separated          3/4 cup sugar          4 ½ cups whole milk          1 cup heavy cream          nutmeg

In the punch bowl, beat the yolks.  Slowly add the sugar.  Beat until dissolved.  Add the milk gradually and mix well.  In another bowl, beat the cream until stiff.  Fold into the egg-yolk mixture.  Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top.

5. Watching Church Christmas movies

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a developed many beautiful videos celebrating Christmas. Many Mormon families gather to watch these beautiful videos such as this sing-along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, this stirring retelling of the Nativity, or this story of one man finding the spirit of Christmas starring Jimmy Stewart.

“Cracker Jack” Popcorn Treat

6 cups popped unsalted popcorn          1 cup peanuts (no shells or skins)          1 cup packed brown sugar          ½ cup butter (1 cube)

1/4 cup Karo syrup                                  ½ tsp salt                                                      ½ tsp baking soda

Put popped corn and nuts into large, greased pan.  Set aside.  In a large saucepan melt together the brown sugar, butter, Karo syrup and salt.  Blend well, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the soda and stir.  Mixture will puff considerably.  Pour over the popcorn and stir to coat it well.  Be careful not to get the syrup on your hands – it sticks and burns.  Bake at 250º for 15 minutes.  Cool.  Separate with a fork or mixing spoon.  Non-sticky, very popular, make lots and lots.

4. Remembering The Book of Mormon Nativity

Mormons often tell the story of Christ’s birth from Luke 2 during Christmas time, but The Book of Mormon people were also aware of Christ’s birth and saw the same new star in the sky the wise men saw.

3. 12 Days of Christmas

Mormons strive to care for those in their congregations and communities. One service project many Mormons do at Christmas time is the twelve days of Christmas, where each day they anonymously drop off a new gift to someone in need.

2. Creches

Mormons strive to keep Christ at the center of their Christmas celebrations. Many congregations collect nativity scenes from their members and others in the local community and display them in their buildings. Sometimes they also include live nativities or short plays. These community celebrations can help everyone remember Christ better.

1. Sacrament Meeting Program

Mormons attend worship services every week. The Sunday before Christmas, Mormon congregations have a special service that includes many musical selections, often from children, as well as Biblical readings. Most importantly during these meetings, like every week, Mormons partake of the Sacrament of the Lord’s supper to remember Christ suffering and dying so that they can return to live with God.

Christopher D. Cunningham is the managing editor for Public Square Magazine and contributor to Third Hour. He loves emphatically celebrating the normal healthy development of his sons Albus and Whitman, writing about the Church of Jesus Christ, finding the middle ground on most controversies, and using Western Family generic brand lip balm. Christopher is a proud graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho, and a resident of San Antonio, Texas.