Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The Christmas season is upon us, and I for one am so happy to see all of the twinkling lights appearing on houses around the neighborhood and the glow from trees winking in windows at dusk. Thanksgiving is usually my favorite holiday, but this year I am so ready to nestle in with my family and reflect on the beauty and joy surrounding the celebration of Christ's birth. It helps, of course that we'll get to celebrate with all our family this year as Chris's parents and sister and my brother and sister in law will be here. The best part of the holidays for me is being with family!

Instead of the usual TJ's advent calendar - the one with the cute picture on the front and many doors opening to promises of chocolate within - I was inspired by all of the beautiful, homemade calendars I've seen on crafty blogs and decided to make my own. Ours is a hybrid of the origami cup idea from Kids Craft Weekly and this organic, earthy one from the Red Thread.

The origami cups are made from scrapbook paper from Target and will hold ideas of things to do each day that emphasize family time, doing for others, and spending time together creatively. Unfortunately I was struck down with a stomach bug on the first day and the scheduled activity (getting cupcakes with friends) was replaced by a trip to Wendy's with Daddy. That's life, huh? At least it was still family (-1) time.

Tonight we're getting the new Dora Christmas movie from Redbox which we will watch together after dinner. Fun times, I tell you!

We're also doing something called a Jesse tree that goes through the whole redemptive history of Israel leading up to Christ's birth. A friend sent me a file with corresponding pictures for the kids to color each day that they can then hang (or tape, in our case) on a tree. So far, they seem to be enjoying it and listening to the story. We'll see how the next 22 days go!

What things mean Christmas to you? Do you have any special family traditions, or ideas for fun things to do as a family that help you reflect on the meaning of the season? Please share!

(PS - I've been living vicariously through Chris' sister Laurel while she travels through New Zealand and Australia before joinging us here for Christmas. Click here or on the Laurel link to the right and be as enthralled as I am with hobbit-land and and gorgeous hikes. I can't wait to see the photos and hear the stories in person!)