Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How We Usually Do Christmas

So, I thought I would tell you how we usually do Christmas around here. This is a celebration that has been evolving over the years, but about 5 years ago, we made some conscious decisions to do Christmas a little different.

We decorate. We love the decorating part. The girls and I have made home-made garland every year for the past 4 years. We tear strips of remnant cloth and then tie them on to a string to make a very "homey" garland. I know it's not everyone's idea of garland...but...we love it.

The kids get a new ornament each year and they hang their own bag of ornaments. I then fill in the holes (and maybe spread few around - because Lincoln tends to hang all of his in one spot).

We hang a big wreath outside and this excited...we finally got a nativity scene! I spotted a set at yard sale in August and talked the husband down quite a bit. Joe and and the boys started working on a stable this weekend - good wood-working project for the garage!.

We don't do Santa. Although I decorate with quite a few Santas around the house...we don't believe he is some "person" who climbs through the chimney with presents. I always take one night to read the story of Saint Nicholas to the kids and we talk about what Santa represents..but he is not real.

We have an advent wreath and do a devotional each night at dinner. Last year, we watched Rick Warren's series on Advent (a DVD series) on Sunday nights.

We only give our children 3 gifts - resembling the gifts of the wise men. One is a spiritual gift, one is a practical gift, and one is "the gold" gift - something they really want. We try to avoid plastic as much as possible. This year, the four older children are all asking for a new Bible - wow!

So, when I say (or Joe says) he wants this year to be different, we have already scaled down in a huge way from consumerism and over-abundance. We turn the TV off a lot more, read the dozens and dozens of Christmas books we have. We spend a lot of time together (but..that is not really new for us) and we try to keep the focus on Jesus. To most Americans, they would look at our Christmas as already being different or simple. Simple has been our slogan for the past 5 years. But simple is not what God is asking us to do this year....


Rbarrow said...

Traci...I was reading your post and I kept thinking..."us too!" We do things VERY similiar...the three gifts, no Santa, but stories etc... I am so curious to see how you will change things up. Maybe you should just add something "radical"(: I will stay tuned to see what you guys end up doing!(:

Bear Creek Mama said...

Your Christmas seems much like ours and every year I say I want it to be "different". Like you it is already intentionally simple and way scaled back if I'm looking at the way others around us celebrate. But I still always want it have more meaning. To truly draw us closer to the real meaning of Christmas during the waiting. I anxiously await hearing how yours plays out. hmmm.