Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celebrating Christmas!

We had a terrific Christmas celebration with Nana and Papa over Thanksgiving weekend- we went to a Christmas tree farm and picked a tree, decorated the tree, opened gifts, sang Christmas carols, went to Mount Vernon's Christmas. Since then we've been enjoying egg nog & Christmas carols, Polar Express with hot hot chocolate, handprint Christmas tree crafts, tons of baking,  reading Christmas books, choir practice, ... I've also been reading posts like The Christmas Conundrum and Whose Birthday is it?  which started me thinking and can we make our celebration of Christmas more a celebration of Christ? we love our Jesse tree ornaments and singing the 12 days of Christmas each night with our advent calendar. (After each gift, the kids shout the "hidden meaning" and at the end eat their yummy tiny chocolate. I wasn't planning on those chocolate calendars this year-I saved our Halloween candy and planned on using this calendar.  But in Fayetteville our neighbor always got them for the kids, and when we saw it at Aldi's, K's eyes lit up so I had to fork out the dollar to continue that tradition.

Jesse tree quilt

hand print Christmas trees

decorating Christmas tree- James always hangs the angel on top last

Thanks Nana & Papa for the handsome sweaters and pretty dress!

What's Polar Express without hot chocolate?

We've really enjoyed the activities on Focus on the Family's advent calendar. We also had a wonderful birthday party for Jesus where we picked out toys to pass along to others. Freecycle was wonderful for passing along the toys. We gave a few toys to people who work with autistic children, a family whose dad is unemployed because of PTSD- I say all this not to toot our own horn but because there are so many people out there with so little and it's so good for kids to learn the joy of sharing. 

The kids loved picking out gifts for Operation Christmas Child. This year we took them to Chick-Fil-A and enjoyed free chicken sandwiches when we dropped them off. 

the kids have been earning (and finding around the house) money to buy rabbits from  Gospel for Asia 
When the kids came home from church with Christmas cupcakes, we had another Happy Birthday family party- you can never say it enough can you? This time we counted our money and ordered rabbits and Bibles. 

I think Advent Conspiracy website says it well:  It is not enough to say no to the way Christmas is celebrated by many; we need to say yes to a different way of celebrating. 
We will continue some of our traditions, continue to tweak others, and invent (borrow) others that add to our celebrating the birth of Christ!  More to come ...

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