Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thinking ahead to Christmas

Can you believe we have only 6 weeks left till Christmas?!! I am so not ready. But of course I say that every year. :) And somehow, we always get ready in time! Six weeks till Christmas means that we only have 5 weeks till we leave to go to Ohio. So, 5 weeks to get everything ready!

I've been enjoying Simple Mom's series "12 Weeks to a Peaceful Christmas." Yesterday's post was about starting a new Christmas tradition, which got me wondering . . . what are some of your family's Christmas traditions? Some of ours in the past have included picking out our tree, baking cookies together (me and the kiddos), watching a Christmas movie (or 2 or 3!), decorating the tree together (sometimes a little stressful with young children! :)), etc. This year we are planning to do a Jesse Tree for the first time . . . hopefully. (In addition to our regular Christmas tree--I'll probably just use a simple bare branch in a pot.) Of course that will depend on if I get all the ornaments made for it or not. :) I just got the first 3 made yesterday! Here they are:
{Fall of Man: serpent & apple/Creation: Earth/Abraham: tent}

For anyone who is not familiar with the Jesse Tree, it uses ornaments based on various people and events in the Bible who were in the lineage of Christ (or in some cases, prophecies about the coming Messiah). I think it is such a neat idea to help us focus on the real meaning of Christmas. You can read a good explanation of it here at Simple Mom (love that site--can you tell?! :)).

This year we are planning to use our fake Christmas tree instead of picking out a real one--this will be a little hard/weird for me, as I really love that tradition . . . and I love real trees! However, we bought our fake one last year at Walmart on clearance for $8.88. And it was originally $88.88!! So, it will save us a bit of money to not buy a real tree this year. Some years we may still splurge on a real one, but this year we are trying to be more budget-conscious, and this is a way we can cut back. One thing I won't miss is having to vacuum up a ton of needles, anyway. :)

So, what are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?


Arlene Grimm said...

Love your Jesse tree idea! We put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving and i really look forward to that!! I make a lot of my own decorations and I make a special ornament for each family member. This yr I had to make four with two new daughter in laws and two new grandchildren!!

mindee said...

Thank you so much for the link to the Jesse Tree idea. I had never heard about it before, but I think I'd like to try it this year.

A few things we do every year: I go shopping with my mom for gifts(just the 2 of us), make cookies with the kids, watch lots of Christmas movies (only allowed in our house between Thanksgiving and Christmas), get and decorate our tree, read The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (we have it on CD read by James Earl Jones, which my kids think is hysterical - Darth Vader!). One of my favorite things we do is both sides of our families gather at our home for a Christmas celebration typically the Saturday before Christmas. I love Christmas-time!

Samara said...

I like your Jesse Tree idea. My husband and I have a tradition of finding & choosing a live potted tree, then after Christmas finding a place to plant it. One year the Boy Scouts were collecting them to plant on fire-damaged slopes nearby, one year we planted it in our yard, one year we procrastinated for so long that it died :)

This year is the first that our son is really conscious of the holidays, so it should be more fun and meaningful for us as well. We will have to begin developing new traditions to share with him- cookie baking, certainly!

Mrs. Doug said...

Christmas traditions... we made cinnamon buns to have for breakfast. We always read the Christmas story from Luke right after eating breakfast and then we would open our presents one at a time. My mom would always write all the gifts into a book and we would write thank you notes to each giver. Lots of times our gifts were given from someone outside the family and so this was very important.

For my children, we would do mostly the same thing. We had breakfast first and then read the Christmas story from Luke. Even now they will not open any packages until we read this and pray and thank the Lord for sending His Son to die for our sin.

I love the Jesse tree idea. what a wonderful way to utilize that excitement to teach such important concepts.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas day and that your travel will be safe and fun too.

Mrs. D

Decors said...

.: Using artificial tree can save our budget too, besides it is recyclable, and saves a lot of time. Jesse tree was a magnificent idea, and so do your ornaments~~ (^,^) :.

Mrs.T said...

Our traditions now are somewhat different from when our kids were young, but some things stay the same. We always have
Christmas Eve Soup, for example.

Certain treats have become traditions with us. Here are links to cookie recipes that I dare not leave unbaked during the Christmas season.

Sacher Torte Cookies

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Eggnog Log Cookies

And this wonderful
Festive Fudge, called Heavenly Delight in our family, is another treat that must be prepared anytime from Thanksgiving through Valentine's Day, but especially at Christmas.

Last but not least, here are a few of our newer traditions:

Christmas Traditions for the Empty Nest

Making as many homemade gifts as I can is also a sort of tradition for me.

It's been fun to read about the traditions of some of your other readers!