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Daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend. Living each day to the fullest. I know God has a plan for me, if I could just see it all through His eyes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 12 - Blog Advent Tour

Day 12. Already? Wow. This month is just flying past and I'm running hard to keep up. I have really enjoyed reading about the ways you all celebrate Christmas and the old and new traditions involved in those celebrations.

But it seems that time is getting away from me this year and I'm already into the thick of my oldest Christmas tradition: trying to get homemade cards and newsletters out BEFORE Christmas. I'm doing really well this year. I have the pictures but other than that, nothing. Hahaha. *eye twitches, choke--really* What am I going to do???

Actually, to be quite honest, I have it SO very easy. First of all, my decorating is the bare minimun. I hang lights and pine garland around the livingroom and usually the kids homemade ornaments hang from suction cups on the windows. That's about it. We don't do a tree for various reasons. The first of which is we don't want one. Yes, they are pretty and all that but the mess isn't worth the hassle when we are hardly ever home for the holidays. I think we have woke up on Christmas morning, in our own bed maybe twice in our 14 year relationship.

Our Christmas traditions are quite simple. I love that we go to my in-laws for Christmas eve. I hate to miss it. We used to go with them to Mike's great gr'ma's house for snacks and the aunts and uncles exchanged gifts then. After she went to the nursing home, we brought our Christmas eve celebration there. It was still a lot of fun. Our kids even enjoyed it. Mike didn't really care for it as he has a decided dislike for nursing homes. After she passed away we just stayed at my in-laws since my MIL is the oldest in her family. Now the aunts, uncles, and cousins in the area all go there and it's a blast.
My favorite uncle (Gene!) always has a great big bear hug for me and it's just fun to sit around and shoot the breeze. After the crowd leaves, Mike and I exchange gifts with his parents. Christmas morning is all about the kids.

I am also a Sunday School teacher so I get the honor of putting together a presentation each year with my class of 3-8 year olds.
It has always been a challenge but even more so this year since our numbers are down to 2-4yr olds, an 8 yr old and a 3 yr old. In past years they have dressed as the "Friendly Beasts", the principal characters involved in the birth of Jesus, and of course angels.
This year I will have 3 kings and Mary. That fits my 3 boy/1 girl ratio quite well. Since most can't or won't recite anything, they just walk through a song. It's quite a hit with the parents and older folks.

The new tradition that I'm trying to implement this year is a advent type thing. I wanted to do something that would definitely put the emphasis on Jesus' birth. I found coloring pages of the Christmas story online, one for each day of Dec up to to Christmas. Each day one of the boys get to color the picture and read the scripture to us. Then we pick a Christmas story book from our vast collection to share that night. We've read The Christmas Rose by William H. Hooks, Come and See by Monica Mayper, Donkey Daniel in Bethlehem by Janice Kramer, The Light of the World by Katherine Paterson, The Story of Baby Jesus- Alice in Bibleland by Alice Joyce Davidson, and The First Night by BG Hennessy just to name a few. I really didn't know how the boys would like it. Mikey and Eli especially seem to be growing out of this sort of thing...stories and coloring pages. But actually, they look forward to it. And we are going to make the coloring pages into a book that we can read next year. Perhaps next year the boys can draw their own pictures to go along with the scripture for the day.

Well, I have Christmas concerts today plus 2 different Christmas parties to attend tonight so I'd better get some much needed sleep. Merry Christmas to you all!


Kerrie said...

Enjoy your various celebrations!

Julia Smith said...

Love the pictures from your Sunday School class performance! Your list of children's Christmas books sounds great - I'll have to check them out. I don't have any kids but I like kids' books (I used to be a nanny for wee ones, though.)

Bogsider said...

Loved to see your pics from Christmas'es and your Sunday School. All those advent tour posts really put me in the right holiday spirit, which is sometimes hard to find when December is such a rush with work and preparations and all that. But I am like you, I do have it rather easy. We are not celebrating at home, and never did, so we don't have a tree either. I do get a little stressed from all the presents I need to get, but that is nothing compared to what others are "going through". Thanks for a great post.


Melissa said...

Your Sunday School class is SO cute. That's a great idea. :)

Krissi said...

I think the advent idea is a wonderful tradition to work into your holiday. It is nice to hear about your traditions. Family being at the core.

Marg said...

I am also rapidly coming to the realisation that I am going to have to send brought cards. I have my design done, I have even made some, but nowhere near enough!

Thanks for participating in the Tour!

Kailana said...

Thanks for participating in the tour! We put our tree up today and I am dying already! I guess I am allergic to real Christmas trees. Fun, fun!

Nymeth said...

I love reading about different ways of celebrating Christmas. There are so many traditions, and I love how families create their own. Thanks for sharing yours and thanks for the pictures!

Memory said...

I love the way you're marking advent! It sounds like a fun, hands-on idea.

Nicole said...

I love all the pictures. It is great to see people celebrating and spending time with their families

Chris said...

Aw, they look so cute!

Susan said...

thank you for sharing! I love the kids in the Sunday School dressed up as animals once. A very good friend of mine is also a Sunday School teacher, I think I'll pass this along! Her class varies in size, sometimes it's huge, sometimes tiny, so it makes it hard for planning sometimes. I also think it's great that you don't have to decorate your house, and your kids don't mind! Even though we are going to be away for all the holidays, we put up a tiny fake tree and a few wreaths, plus brought out all the Hallmark noise making decorations, which the kids are young enough to love. thank you for sharing!

Julia said...

Thanks for sharing your tradition and showing your Sunday School class performance! The kids so cute in their costumes :)

I wish your you and your family a Happy Holidays!

Vickie said...

Sorry for being late, trying to catch up on the Advent Tour.

Thank you for sharing your traditions.

Have a happy holidays!