Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas on our own terms

I love Christmas.  I love celebrating Christ’s birth, the greatest gift to the world, the reading of Luke 2 and acting out the Nativity.  I also love everything secular and worldly about Christmas.  I love the Ho Ho Ho, the red and green, Santa, and presents.  I’ve always had a hard time fitting in as much of each aspect as I’d like to, and as a result (especially as a parent) Christmas has become less about Christ, less about holly and jolly, and more about stress.  The other things I don’t like about Christmas is how completely anti-climactic (Is that really spelled right?  I spell checked it, but it seems wrong.) Christmas day is.  The morning is exciting, but the rest of the day seems so boring after all the anticipation.  Then New Year’s comes along, and New Year’s Eve is fun, but New Year’s Day is meh.  I usually set new goals that despite my initial enthusiasm, kind of get forgotten.

No More. 

I’m very fortunate to have a family that completely supports me in all my flights of whimsy. (Or perhaps I’m just a very good sales person, because one way or another they are all 100% in compliance enthusiastic and excited about the new schedule of events which is as follows:

December 1-24 - the normal preparation for Christmas.  We're planning on copying my sister's idea of reading a different scripture prophesying the birth and coming of Christ.  We're also doing an advent calendar of Christmas stories, and a stocking advent calendar with treats or Christmas activities or ornaments.
Our stocking advent calendar all the stockings are made from old clothing and such.
In the corner is our story advent calendar.  It was made with a mirror frame (The kids broke the mirror) and then 25 pieces of 12x12 scrapbook paper. But now I need to add 5 more.  Luckily I haven't fastened it yet.  Oh, and I made the stockings here from sweaters.  I still need to embellish them.

December 24-25, Christmas: A Celebration of Christ
These days will include the Nativity, the reading of Luke 2, the singing of any/all Christmas songs about the precious child born in Bethlehem, Savior of the World, and possibly the Messiah.  All of it.  We’ll also participate in some sort of service, and possibly spend time with extended family.  No gifts, with the possible exception of something Christ related.  The evening of the 25th may culminate in a formal or very simple dinner followed by a family testimony meeting. I also really like the idea I got from my cousin about setting goals based on the scripture.  Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. So we’ll introduce this verse to the family to use as a guideline for setting goals over the next week.

December 26-29
Finish preparing everything needed for a holly jolly commercial Christmas. (At a very merry 50-75% off! ;) ) The other bonus is that all the kids will be home from school and can participate in all the fun cooking, songs, stories, and all that other fun stuff about getting ready for Christmas.  This will also be a time for reflection and planning for goals for the coming year.

December 30
Essi Day. It will be so nice for her to celebrate her birthday BEFORE everyone else gets presents, instead of just on the tail end of Christmas.

December 31
Party. Time.  All the fun of New Year’s Eve + staying up until midnight playing games and having fun + fireworks + the treats of Christmas and finger foods + the anticipation of Santa coming in the morning. It would also be fun to share all our favorite memories and blessings from the closing year.

January 1
A celebration of everything new… and Santa.  The coming of the New Year, new presents, and new goals.  Do our traditional breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham, and cherry cream cheese crescent rolls, fruit, etc.  Open presents. Take naps. Have a fun family council where we all share our new goals.  I love goals.  I love the growth and the excitement that comes with setting and accomplishing new goals.  I love the idea of having a bigger holiday celebrating goal making and starting.

This was our first picture of our first attempt at Chritmas pictures this year.  From this, it went downhill fast. We'll retry later.
Merry Christmas!