Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Traditions

All December I've been planning to do a big post (or even a series - how many times have I promised one of those here?) on our Christmas decorations & traditions this year. I read Noel Piper's Treasuring God in Our Traditions recently and I may have gone a little overboard. But it's now Christmas Eve and naptime is nearly over, so I'll have to be relatively brief.

Little things we're doing to try to keep the Christ in Christmas:
  • our Advent Calendar is a homemade version of the Noel Calendar from the above book. I had fun making the decorations and although SP doesn't always seem attentive, he can point to all the different nativity characters and sometimes points to a character moments BEFORE I get to that bit in the story. So it seems that he's taking it in. 
 December 6
  • I made a gingerbread nativity at our gingerbread house making event at church last month. It didn't come out looking quite like the picture in my head (blame my icing skills for that) but I like that I tried.
  • A new tradition I came up with: when we put up the Christmas Tree, Dave & I each took a little red slip of paper and wrote on it something that we're thankful for. We've added the date, paper-chained them together, with 'Thank you God for' as the first chain, and hope to add to them each year. 
  • Our Christmas cards are attached to our entryway blinds with pegs that spell out 'Thank you God for family and friends'. Yes, I think this is where I went a little overboard. 
Probably the biggest decision we've made is not to do Santa in our family. I don't have anything against Santa (he treated me VERY well as a kid ;) ), but I like to put him in the same category as Thomas the Tank Engine or the Green Sheep, and not confuse him with anybody real. Being the people-pleaser that I am, I've wondered worried how to explain to others (and in time to SP) why Santa doesn't come to our house. But I realised at the markets yesterday what a great opportunity it presents...

Stall-holder: (to SP) Are you ready for Santa to come?
Me: Actually, we don't do Santa. We want him to know that Christmas is all about Jesus.

And from that, we had a discussion about God and what this guy thought about church. Brief, and clumsy on my part, but a conversation nonetheless. Which wouldn't have come about if we'd been looking forward to Santa.

And I almost forgot: the article that prompted me to finally write this post. A brief biography of the real St Nicholas, parts 1 and 2. . I'll be keeping this one for when SP is a bit older.

Merry Christmas!

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