So, this past week I was under the weather and I did not try any new recipes. By this weekend though I was starting to feel better and since hubby had a four day weekend, we put up the Christmas tree and began decorating for Christmas! Now, some may think this is way too early. However, my mom is coming Friday and then my Dad will join her the week of Thanksgiving. This year is my brothers’ year to get my parents for Christmas, but my parents don’t want to miss Christmas with us. So, as military families do, we adapt and plan:).
We will be having 2 Christmas’ this year: Christmas at Thanksgiving with my parents and Christmas with just us and maybe some Soldiers. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, we always invite single Soldiers or those serving who cannot make it home for the holidays, to spend it with our family. We also take food to those who are on duty during the holidays as well. It is the least we can do and teaches our kids to give back to those who sacrifice and serve for them.
Christmas time is so meaningful to us because we love celebrating and recognizing the birth of our Lord and Savior. We love using this time to pause and celebrate Advent-the coming of our Lord. Last year I posted several posts on Christmas. Part 1 Santa Claus or the Lack of Santa Here, Part 2 Advent Here, Part 3 about The Christmas Angel HERE, Part 4: My Ultimate HUGE List of Christmas BOOKS!, Part 5 Christmas Around the World, If you really want to do The Elf on the Shelf, read HERE for how we did it Biblically :).
Putting up the tree is an excellent family tradition. Each of our ornaments has special meaning. The one in the picture above was mine when I was a little girl. We like to talk about the decorations as we place them on the tree. Talking about them lets us take a trip down memory lane, so that even if they cannot remember when or where we got that ornament the memory stays alive. We also like to play Christmas music; this gets us into the Christmas spirit, and we all love it.
One tradition we have that started when I was a child is each year the children get to pick a new ornament. When they get married and start their own tree and traditions, I will do what my mom did: I will pass down the ornaments to them. Then they can in turn tell the stories to their children. 🙂
As we are getting the decorations out, the kids get so excited! They can hardly contain themselves waiting to get started. They love helping put the ornaments on the tree!!!
Sometimes little helpers mean you end up with all the ornaments in one place. It makes me smile and remember, not so long ago, I was the one doing the very same thing. With a mother who instead of fussing at me for clumping the ornaments on the tree, she walked away. She let me try myself. 🙂 So, that is what we do for our tree.
Sometimes we have decorations that are sweet.
A child who says Momma, this Nativity does not have an angel, so can I put my Little People there? Some mothers say no, but I remember my mother who patiently let me do the same thing.
Some decorations are unique.
Like the child who says proudly…look, Momma, I hung my Christmas stockings:). They are still proudly hanging on his dresser! It’s, ok!
Someday my kids will grow up. Some day they will make their own memories. Eventually, I hope they look back on the memories made at Christmas and remember and think. I know that I can still see my house growing up, I can see the Christmas Tree I knocked over at 3, for many many years my Dad had to hook it to a nail so that it would not fall. I can still see the colored lights my Dad let me have, even though he preferred white ones. I can still taste the hot chocolate on Christmas Eve as I sit sipping in the dark with the lights off because I just wanted to see the twinkle lights.
Most of all I remember the story. The story of how Jesus was born in a stable to come and live and be our savior -My Savior. I pray my kids always remember the story of Jesus while they are reflecting back on Christmas and its many memories and meaning.
So that is what has been going on at our house.
What is happening at yours?