My family didn't attend church, didn't read the Bible, didn't pray, and didn't discuss God.
But every Christmas, two things happened:
We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas, with the famous scene where Linus recites from Luke 2.
And we played Harry Simeone Chorale The Little Drummer Boy, an album that connects songs using narrated passages from both Old and New Testaments.
Though we ignored Scripture the rest of the year, these two traditions put biblical truth in my head.
Last Sunday afternoon, we had some friends over for lunch. After the meal, we sat in the living room chatting while Christmas music played in the background.
At one point in the conversation, one person said he wasn't sure how he felt about non-Christians singing sacred music like Handel's Hallelujah chorus, since they don't really believe the words.
I responded by pointing to my own experience of hearing God's word within these two annual traditions from my childhood.
Now, when I listen to either album, I'm immediately reminded that I heard His word over and over as an unbelieving child. Although it would be several years before I picked up a Bible and began to believe its words, somehow I didn't reject them in that setting.
More importantly, I'm reminded of the truth that God's word will accomplish what He sends it to do, even if we don't believe the words at the time.