Wow, can you believe Christmas is only 8 days away? It's getting closer and everyone around our house is very excited. I was reading about Faith's family and how they celebrate Christmas and so I thought I would share what we do. First, let me say that I know that God made each and every one of us different, so the way we celebrate may be different (and it probably is) than the way you celebrate. I believe that if our desire is to honor and glorify God, that is the most important thing.
Let's talk trees! Some love artificial while others love the smell of a real tree in their home this time of year. For us, it has to be real. Yes, there are the occasional needles (or 2, or 50!) that wind up on the floor, but that's okay. We cut out tree down every year and it's an experience that we just love! We cut our tree down on December 1 as a way to remember our son, Samuel. This is a special day for us. Erick takes the day off and we spend it as a family, going out for lunch and getting our tree.
This year, for the first time, I didn't do any decorating. Our older children did it all and I loved it, and so did they. They later confessed to me that I take too long discussing each and every thing and they were so excited when I said they didn't have to wait for me and that they could do it on their own. Our tree and house look fabulous, thanks to them.
In the past years we have done some excellent advent activities but this year we aren't doing one. Hopefully we can get back to doing one next year. Even though we aren't doing one, we still make sure we talk to the kids about the true meaning of Christmas.
We love to go driving around to look at lights. That is one of our favorite activities to do during this time of year.
Now, let's talk gifts. My older children exchange names and purchase something small for each other. They love this and it's fun to see what they come up with. I know many families buy their children 3 gifts referring back to the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus. I think that's a great idea. Another idea that I love is to buy "something to wear, something you need, something you want and something to read". I love both of these ideas, although we don't do them. I have thought about doing them, but I end up buying too many gifts and so I always say "next year." I probably give each child about 5 gifts, less if the gift is something big like a camera.
Finally, let's talk about Santa. Did I say that? Yes, I did! We did Santa when our older children were younger but I remember the year when Noah, who was 4 at the time, got so excited when he saw what Santa had left him that he said, "Santa was nice to me, Santa was nice to me!" I'll admit, I got a little jealous over the attention and thanks that Santa got. So, we quit doing Santa. Looking back, I think that we were also following what others that we knew at that time were doing. And they had great reasons. But a little part of me always missed the big guy. So, when Jubilee was born, Santa came back into being a part of our Christmas experience. I don't know how long Santa will last though. So far, 2 of my little boys have already found the "santa toy" that I had hidden. Santa only brings one toy to the little ones, the rest are from mommy and daddy.
That's just a little window into Christmas at our home. Check out Clark Chatter to see how other "big" families celebrate this special time of year.