Before reading one word further, please go to Kelly's latest blog about this.
(That Kelly is so great.)
We obviously get a tree, and we've kind of envisioned in future years always cutting our tree down. I had great memories of this growing up, and it's something Nick is super excited to do - especially when we eventually make it to the northeast.
Nick's conceded to let me have mostly handmade decorations. I think even when things are better financially, I'd like to do this. At least while our kids are young. I love how unassuming a paper stocking namecard looks and you obviously know how I feel about paper chains. For a house with young kids, it just seems to fit better than lots of silver and gold.
Also, all the kids get one ornament each every year.
(oops, write that on the to-do list)
Growing up in the Methodist church, I heard a lot about advent but Nick had never even heard of the word. We're using this year to feel out how we want to celebrate the season leading up to Christ's birth. We started with a chocolate advent calendar that we open at Bible time each night and we're kind of slowly seeing that may not be a part of our tradition in the years to come. The calendar will be, but Elias is getting kind of obsessed with his new "Bible treat". Yikes. I've heard of The Jesse Tree and doing fun family activities for each night of Advent, so we may venture into something like that next year.
Every Sunday, we are doing something pretty big. Either a big intentional dinner with family, or a big family type event. We also got four advent candles, and one Jesus candle for our table as well. This seems like such a tangible way to say - as the light gets brighter each week, we get closer to the Light being born!
This is our first year doing three presents each for the kids, which actually seems like the perfect cap, right? Sidebar: When I told Nick we should do this since Jesus was given three gifts, he gave me a silly face and said, "Why don't we just say we're doing it since it's practical?". I love him.
We think we'd really love to have some sort of Christmas morning at our house, with our kids, each year. This year it will be Christmas Eve since we fly out Christmas day to head to the East Coast and we're super excited.
oh, come on now - sometimes food is the greatest tradition, Amen?
I'll start with my mom's sausage egg casserole. The only amendment I make is that I use cornbread instead of normal bread. I made it this morning for a little playdate party & I'll make it for the kids on Christmas morning.
Homemade donuts. Last year I made some homemade donut balls and so, yeah, one taste of those and we decided they'd be a tradition. I don't think we'll make them till we get to Nonny's this year because I want plenty of people to be able to eat them so I don't!
Also, last year, I was pregnant and craving fried fish and so we made fried fish on Christmas Eve and we said we'd make that a tradition. Well, um, since it's my first Christmas non-pregnant since 2005 and I'm craving salad more than hydrogenated butt fat, I think we'll go ahead and break that tradition:).
That's all we do for now.
With such young kids, it's sweet to hold our traditions in a loose fist as we figure out what works for us, what is truly purposeful, and what is just downright fun.
I have to say, this year it has really begun to overwhelm me for the first time that I'm the mother. I think we've done our holiday about as simply as possible (sort of - I guess we could not go see family, but even that trip is going to be extremely low maintenance), and I'm still finding myself fighting anxiety a little.
It's the Friday before Christmas and I have around 1/3 of the presents bought for our immediate family, NO extended family gifts, packing is undone, and my upcoming party is far from planned. But I'm excited still because when I feel a little nutty about things and surrender, I experience peace from Christ in a whole new way - which is what this season is about.
Now - on December 26th if you happen to see me in Charlotte and I look haggard and I'm stressed out because our kids are freaking out from flying and seeing about six extended families in twenty-four hours, remind me then that I wrote this:).
Hope you guys have an awesome weekend before Christmas!