Sunday, December 4, 2011

Prized Christmas Traditions


It is December once again. How time just flew by. But isn't it just as amazing that someone was inspired enough to help us close each year in remembrance of such a momentous, auspicious event that the whole world needs?

Joy to the world indeed! To remember how our Savior Jesus Christ chose to be our Redeemer despite knowing he'll come into a humble situation though He is a King, a rightful heir to the kingdom of His beloved Father, our Heavenly Father... A son of God.

In preparation for this wonderful, but often misrepresented event, traditions have sprung up. From whole countries, culture, families to individuals. I want to share with you what we do in our family... Though they have evolved during the years, many have remained to this day. For example, since 2007, we have stopped giving "wanted" gifts to each other, but rather we focus the gifts on those items that can help us be more like Jesus- so we buy books and only needed items to share on that day.

After Thanksgiving
-We buy new Christmas books, look for new stories to add to our Christmas book (1997 or 98)
-Start decorating for Christmas
-Plan our Christmas Menu- Filipino
-Figure out whose theme will be used (each of our children has a theme)
-Drop off Nativities to loan for community exhibit (2007)

December 1-25
-Read/watch 1 story and/or sing a song. Normally done under a candlelight, but we are flexible.
-Attend a Temple Lights (2001) or Nativity Display Exhibit (2007)
-Decorate the house
Upper banister, "Burgundy and Gold", 2011

After Nativity Exhibit
-Place Nativities all over the house and finish decorating. (2007)
Carrollton Community Nativity Exhibit, 2011
-Set up the 3 small trees anywhere in the house and read, "The Three Trees" story by them.
"The Three Trees" as our Christmas tree, 2008
L, J & I, in front of our "Three Trees", 2010
Second week of December-
-Buy a Christmas tree and decorate it as a family while listening to Christmas songs
"Poinsettia & Gold", 2010
-Do our family portrait

-Finalize and send out our Christmas Newsletter
-Finalize our menu and start shopping

Christmas Orange 
-We make sure that everyone is home for this (2001). We buy tangerines and each one gets one to peel after we read the story of the Christmas Orange and we do as the story tells. It is told by a few candle lights or by the fireplace. We've been reading this story since we got the book from my in-laws, but we waited to do the actual exchange after our second child was old enough to taste one. Our son had to wait until he was old enough to have his own.
Honey Tangerines, WalkerIndianRiverGroves.com
December 13-25
-Start 12 days of Sweets; bake something sweet every night (2009)
-Send some sweets as gifts

Chocolate-topped Shortbread Cookies & Flavored Cheese Danish 

-Draw names for the PJ & Book Gift Exchange

December 24, Christmas Eve
-Leave Christmas lights on all day
-Lunch-Pizza and juice
-Christmas Dinner-Filipino Feast (Appetizers, Soup, Pansit, Lumpia, Rice, Afritada, Roast Pork, Baked Fish, Desserts, Drinks)
Filipino Feast, Christmas Eve, 2009

-Open Christmas PJs to wear for the night
PJ's, 2009

December 25, Christmas Day
-Leave Christmas lights on all day
-Christmas Breakfast (children's choice)
-Open gifts and stockings by the fireplace
-Set up grazing table (buffet style, all day)
Grazing Table, 2009

-Bake a chocolate cake for the Savior
-Read Mary's Dream
-Listen to Christmas Songs
-Sing "Happy Birthday, Jesus" and eat cake
-Open present for Jesus (a promise to fulfill all year)

We love our traditions and now that the children are older, it is more precious each year...

We'd love to hear about yours...

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT.





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