Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Traditions

My friend Ashley is having a little link up of posts about Christmas traditions. I've done a post about our Christmas traditions (and Halloween traditions, and Thanksgiving traditions, and Valentine's Day traditions, ha!) before, but I thought it would be fun to share and expand.

First of all, let me say that this year, I have been a little pregnant and a lot stressed and I haven't done much at all in the way of Christmas traditions short of reading Christmas books to Ann Peyton, dressing her in tons of Christmas outfits, making her nightly Bible story all about the first Christmas. Really most of which are not things I consider "traditions", in all honesty.

But, here's what I'd LIKE for us to do:

- We did get get AP this little Christmas Storybook Bible:

She has the regular one and loves it and I think this is a great starting place for toddlers. It takes each part of the Christmas story (almost verse by verse) and breaks it down, so each night you talk about the journey, the shepherds, the wisemen, ect.

- Being a Methodist, I feel like there is something to be said for the liturgical calendar and just as we observe Lent to prepare for Christ's death and resurrection, I want us to observe the Advent season to prepare for His coming. I'm not sure what this will look like besides singing hymns and reading Scripture, but I'd like to add elements like an Advent wreath and/or calendar when the children are old enough to understand these things.

- I had planned to get Annie her own nativity this year, but it just didn't happen. One of our really good friends shared with us last year that her parents always wrapped the baby Jesus up and on Christmas morning she and her three sisters were always more concerned with finding the Baby than even looking at their other presents. I thought that was such a neat way to keep things "centered".

- As far as presents and Christmas morning and all that, Peyton and I have had a long, arduous road to get to a compromise, but we've made one. I'm planning on writing a whole post on it soon!

- That said, one thing we've always done, and something I don't see changing in the foreseeable furture is that we always spend the night with my parents on Christmas Eve, even though they live in town. It's just fun and that way we get to wake up, eat breakfast, and do Christmas with them early and then head to Peyton's parents' house before lunch. It's such a blessing to have both families in one town! We also always celebrate with Peyton's extended family on the 26th. This works out well, because being in the medical field, Peyton has to work Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas (and some years Christmas day). I don't think he's ever had a partner that cared more about the 26th than about Christmas Eve and wasn't willing to switch! Peyton has a HUGE family, so we do a Secret Santa Swap with them.

- We want our children to know that Christmas is a time to celebrate by giving to others. Peyton and I agreed this year that we will never spend more on our own children's Christmas than we do on other children's. This year we gave to Operation Christmas Child and the Angel Tree ministry. I really like my friend Sarah's idea of serving others in the community. I read something similar about serving drinks to the garbage men on Angie Smith's blog once and I always thought that would be a neat thing to do!

- I didn't do any holiday baking this year, but I do want to make AT LEAST one of these super cute Santa cookie cakes that my mom made for us growing up:

- The park right by our house has a really pretty light display and this year they had a hot chocolate stand, a "live" Santa, and a train ride like at the zoo going on. That's something I hope we'll take advantage of!

- I think it's so much fun to bundle up in pajamas and go look at Christmas lights all over town, too!

- Speaking of jammies, we do have a tradition of all having matching (or at least coordinating) pjs for Christmas morning. Next year (or this year, if I find a good sale!), I'll be buying FOUR pairs!

- I always love getting Christmas cards, so I do everything in my power to send them. I also really enjoy writing an accompanying letter.

Well, I think that's all I can think of right now, but I'm looking forward to browsing everyone's for more great ideas!

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