Sunday, December 2, 2012

(24 days before christmas)

The other night I waited for Daniel to get home and escaped to Wal-Mart at 10:00pm to buy little odds and ends like toilet paper and conditioner and trash bags.

It was November 29. 

I thought I'd go browse in the Christmas card aisle to see if there were any I liked.

Umm. . . Hayley-come-lately. 

They were so picked over that I instantly knelt to the floor and started setting out every single 'inspirational' and black&whitish looking box I could find.  Obviously November 29th is way too late to buy cards. 

I quickly gave up on finding enough boxes to match and instead chose a theme.  (Besides, the Smith's don't know which card we sent the Jones family.)

On my way out of the Christmas emporium I checked for white lights. 

There were three boxes left.  I threw all of them in my cart and once again puzzled over why. . . why. . . why we have to rush things.

On my way out I noticed two forlorn wreaths dangling on the outdoor displays;  it seemed sad to me to see Christmas well on it's way to being sold out before I even had the kids' advent calendar up. 

And speaking of advent calendars. . .

I highly recommend them.

So fun.

In the tradition of Madeleine L'Engle's The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas, we do one Christmas activity each day leading up to Christmas.  The advent calender we do includes little slips of paper with the activities written on them. I use little paper favor bags found in the wedding section of the Dollar Tree and paper clip them to a wide ribbon that I have glued to our chalkboard wall.  So far Eli hasn't noticed the bags.  We'll see how it works this year.

Here's some of our favorites:

ceremonially unpack all of the christmas bins from the attic

check out raid christmas books at library

drive around looking at christmas lights while drinking hot cocoa

gingerbread houses

gingerbread house for birds

make gumdrop wreath

christmas caroling

sugar cookies

decorate-your-own-room with a string of lights

christmas puzzle night

get tree with Daddy + enchiladas

live nativity

christmas party with little friends (come dressed as someone from the Christmas story)

read Luke 2

help with mailing Christmas cards

wrapping party

decorate tree

buy christmas candy (this is a special trip)

hang stockings

set up small nativity scene -recycling my many willow trees :)

birthday cakes for Jesus

listen to the Messiah

and speaking of listening to the Messiah, last night we did and it was so great.  I love love love when a small town pulls together so much talent and shares with the community.  It was so beautiful to sit and listen and just let the words wash over. . .

Every valley shall be exalted

His yoke is easy, His burden is light

The government shall be upon His shoulders

And He shall reign for ever and ever.

The kids loved it;  I'd informed Jacob earlier in the week about the tradition that King George started when he first attended Handel's Messiah, so when everyone stood for the Hallelujah Chorus he was tickled to death and history came alive. 

This is after we got home-- we totally got the giggles trying to take our self portrait commemorating our evening.  (Self portraits just aren't my strong point.)

Anyway, while I'm just a little proud of myself for getting my advent calendar up on December 1 (that is a first, folks) I don't have my activity slips all included so I'm off to do my mommy duty. 

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?? 


  1. I'm very impressed! Last year I read "Jotham's Journey" (a storybook for Advent) and the kids loved it. So I'm rereading it again this year. I'm also adding in something new: "The Passion Tree Advent Calendar" by Christian artist Jack E. Dawson. I keep things pretty simple, otherwise I get easily overwhelmed. ;)

  2. I LOVE it!! Next year when things are more "normal" I want to do this!

    And Im still trying to start traditions, so I dont have any to share :/