Wow, I don’t even know where to start, there is so much I want to say about our Christmas! First of all let me say we LOVE Christmas around here, really LOVE it!
First of all we get a real tree for our upstairs, I love the smell of it and the kids love picking it out. They can be messy getting them into the house but well worth it to me. We love putting our ornaments on that we have collected on trips or that our kids have made, My husband and I even have some from our childhood. We listen to our favorite Christmas Music as we decorate. We usually do this on the 1st on my sons birthday because he loves it, this year however with his party it was too much so we are doing it tomorrow. We put a fake tree downstairs and I decorate it in silver and blue, mostly blue. I have always loved blue in Christmas! This year we are doing the Jesse Tree from Ann Voskamp’s devotional (its a small tree that will have the ornaments on it that celebrate all the meaniful meaning of Christ in Christmas!) Everyday we will do a devotional that goes with the ornament.
Another thing we do is dress in our PJS, get in the car and go look at Christmas lights in the middle of December. My husband even videotapes some of the reactions of the kids, of course we listen to Christmas Music-its a great tradition-We love it!
We make some jar gifts and this year the kids are going to make all the family members cinnamon ornaments. I like to make some mini scrapbooks too!
One of the big events for us is what we have named CartoonFest. We invite some friends from church and we bake lots of good cookies and hot chocolate. We sit around taking turns picking our favorite christmas cartoon, with all of us we have quite a collection. Everyone spends the night at our house, it is so MUCH fun! Everyone looks so forward to it! I will post some pics of this years when we have it!
We also have a night, usually a family night where we watch our favorite Christmas movies, We love the Polar Express, The Muppets Christmas Carol, and Tom and Jerry Nutcracker. My husband and I try to have a night after the kids go to bed to watch some of our favorites. My all time favorite is Its a Wonderful Life!
We also love to read a different Christmas Book every night in December. Some on the True Meaning of Christmas and some are on Santa or snowmen or other things.
Christmas is a great time to do community things as well. We do shoeboxes for OCC and make homemade cards for local nursing homes. I haven’t done this yet, hopefully this year but I love the idea of the kids leaving something for the garbage men and mailman on Christmas Week-I think a pan of brownies in a throwaway glad container would be great! I also love the idea of putting gifts on doorsteps without them knowing who it is from (it doesn’t have to be a big price item, it could be homemade) Visting Nursing homes is a wonderful thing to do with children, we did this tonight. I can’t tell you how rewarding this was, not only for me but for my boys. My nine year old said afterwards, wow, it felt so good to give out our cards, they loved them so much. Isn’t that what Christmas is about?
I love Lisa Whelchels book The Adventure of Christmas.
I also love Homespun Gifts from the Heart by Karen Ehman, Kelly Hovermale, and Trish Smith
I have so many ideas from Karen Ehman, she had a tape at a conference one time on taking the stress out of holiday time and making memorable memories with your kids at Christmas Time. Here is her website http://karenehman.com/home/ Here is a book on making memories with your kids at Christmas and other times.
On Christmas Morning we read from Luke on our Saviors Birth before opening presents! I’m sure I didn’t cover it all but I will end now. I do want to say, alot of this doesn’t always go perfect. There have been times we have had grumpy children while decorating the tree, cookies that burned and all kinds of other things. We do the best we can to make memories but they don’t all go perfect!