Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Heritage Part II

I have to say, I learned a very valuable lesson this year, and I'm so thankful. Perhaps it is because I didn't grow up with a whole lot of tradition, we had some as I got older and enjoyed a stable home life, but my early childhood missed tradition. So, I try to make up for that every year with my children. This year I feel like I was packing in every last minute with things we've always done, which doesn't leave room for new things. Plus, I had to realize, as much as I don't like to admit it, my children are getting older, they may not always enjoy making paper chains filled with candy to rip off one each day of the advent.

So here is what we did, that we would try to normally do...to keep up with tradition.

We always try to watch our favorite Christmas movies.
 Of course, hot chocolate is a must..even if it is 80 degrees outside.
 A trip to Downtown Disney always gets us in the mood for Christmas & its free!
For the past few years, we've sung carols around a fire..this time we actually had dinner over the pit! So much fun!
Ahh..a trip to Celebration! We did this a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Said we've always wanted to go back. However, because Pop was advancing in his dementia we really couldn't go anywhere last year. This year we could go..so we did!
It snows in Celebration. (well kind of). It is beautiful and we love the nostalgic feeling, walking around, hearing carolers and seeing the horse drawn carriages. Such a pretty place to visit!
 Love how the lights reflect on the water and of course..
We do a lot of window shopping!

We did get out more this year. We delivered cookies to lots of people (next blog post about that), we went to a homeschool Christmas party and we just enjoyed the outdoors together.

However, I found Christmas Eve quickly approaching. We didn't finish our Adornments, and we made plans to go to a friends house on Christmas Eve. This kind of rocked my little traditional world. Every (and I mean every) Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember, I've made homemade sweet bread, we've gone to church for our candlelight service, we've had my mother-in-law over for a nice dinner, we celebrated Jesus' birthday with cupcakes, did What God Wants For Christmas, watched the 1952 version of Scrooge and read The Night Before Christmas. Whew!

I was stressing out about not getting all of that in on one day...trying to figure how can I still do all of this and go to our friends house too. Standing in the middle of my living room my husband faces me and places his hands upon my shoulders...and says something that was so simple, but changed my whole attitude towards tradition...he simply said...
"Lisa, Jesus was born in a manger, it was a simple birth. Christmas can just be simple." That was really all I needed to be reminded of....the simplicity behind my Savior's birth. Okay, I enjoy Christmas in my children's eyes, but they know that Santa is not really delivering toys, they know that the reason we celebrate at all is because He came to give us life! I could actually breathe from that moment on. Here is how we changed/added to our traditions this year.

We went to church, then went to our friends' house! Which I hope becomes a new tradition...we love them so much and it was wonderful to spend the evening with all of them! We laughed and enjoyed all of our time together.

They decided to watch the 1952 Scrooge movie with us...that was ultra special! I never did read Twas the Night Before Christmas, we didn't do What God Wants for Christmas (well, we talked about it and Shane did open the box and put it together), we didn't sing Happy Birthday to Jesus Christmas Eve,  I never made sweet bread, but allowed Grands Cinnamon Rolls to make my house smell yummy. We went to church on Christmas morning (very special to be in His house that morning). However, I did keep this one...
Every year we give our children 3 gifts for Christmas. We usually try to get at least one or two of the things they ask for, and then we surprised them for one..usually the one we don't wrap. (last year it was a puppy) We have them close their eyes and then the big reveal. They loved their Star Wars posters. The best $5 gift EVER! (well then add $10 for the frame).

Ok, I still made cupcakes for Jesus' birthday, but we celebrated on Christmas day instead. We didn't end up having a fancy dinner at all..in fact while many people were enjoying their standing rib roast, Mike smoked some ribs in the smoker and we had barbecue ribs, beans and salad! So messy and fun and not traditional at all!  Really, what I need to keep alive in my children's hearts is one thing...

Jesus...He came so we might find our heritage in Him. 


1 comment:

Lil' Momma @ Five in Training for HIM said...

We to are in Florida (East Coast) and totally understand the 80 degree weather, hard to get into the Christmas mood. I love what your husband said to you about simple Christmas. It can get so busy that we forget that. We do a Birthday Cake for Jesus every year and tell a a story of what every item on the cake represents. It makes for a nice way for everyone to remember. I am glad Jesus came for me and you so we can all have that heritage in HIM, too.

Thanks for the post.
Lil Momma is that Crazy Homeschooling mom of 3 who is happy mowing grass, vacuuming, and even do windows...just don't ask me to be my kids' creative writing tutor check out our family adventures at Five in Training for HIM