Christmas traditions take people all kinds of places. Our family just so happens to head to a local gas station.

Yes, you read that right. One of my family’s Christmas traditions is a gas station dinner.

After attending the Christmas Eve service at our church, we gather our children and head to the nearby GetGo gas station. Basically, everyone grabs whatever they want for dinner. This tradition started years ago after a Christmas Eve service when we had planned to go out to a sit down dinner, but everything was already closed for the night. We had nothing in our refrigerator at home because we were about to travel and so we had to stop at the only place that was open … the gas station. We’ve carried this tradition on every year since. Our kids always anticipate Christmas Eve gas station dinner!

My youngest two kids usually get a lunchable from the refrigerated section, some candy and the biggest fountain Coke they can find.

Our oldest kid likes to be adventurous so he chooses something a little off the wall to eat accompanied with his favorite Swedish Fish. My husband rolls his eyes at the whole thing adding up in his mind what the total dollars will be but still joins in the tradition with a shriveled up hotdog or slice of pizza that’s been sitting under the warming lights for hours. You can usually find me with a big bag of peanut butter M&Ms and, if I’m lucky, a tiny bottle of wine. We end up spending like $75+ on gross food but everyone loves it. It’s out of the ordinary, it’s a little indulgent and we love the memory each year.

It’s a meaningful part of our Christmas Eve traditions.

At first glance, this tradition may seem disconnected from the spiritual significance of Christmas. And it honestly wasn’t a tradition created for this teaching moment but more out of necessity. However, as we gather around the table with our gas station treasures, if you will, I'm reminded of the gift of abundance that comes with the Christmas story.

When we think about Christmas, our minds often turn to the story of the birth of Jesus. In that humble stable, Mary and Joseph welcomed the Savior of the world into the simplest of settings. Yet, this seemingly modest birth held within it the promise of abundance beyond measure.

God's gift of Jesus was an act of overflowing love and grace. It was a gift that symbolizes God's abundant provision for all of humanity. In the birth of Christ, we see the promise of forgiveness, redemption and eternal life – gifts more precious than any material possession.

In our family’s Gas Station Dinner tradition, we experience a taste of this abundance. As we “feast” on our unconventional meal, we're reminded that abundance can come in unexpected forms. It reminds us to appreciate the simple joys, the laughter around the table and the love of family. We didn’t know that running through the gas station grabbing anything we wanted would turn out to be so fun and special for our family. It was truly unexpected and so very abundant. 

As we celebrate Christmas this year, may we remember that God's greatest gift to us is the abundance of His love and the promise of eternal life through Christ. And maybe you too might enjoy a gas station dinner, and may it be a reminder of the abundant blessings we receive through Him.


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. - John 10:10


Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of Jesus who embodies your abundant love and grace. Help us to see the abundance in our lives, even in the simplest of moments and traditions. May this Christmas season be a reminder of your generosity and the joy of sharing love with one another. In Jesus' name. Amen.

You can read more of our team's Christmas traditions on the blog.