Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How We Do Christmas

It's no secret that everyone does Christmas different. It's one of those things that makes your family a family. Whether it be caroling, Aunt Sally's casserole or the reoccurring tacky gift that shows up each year, there are things that we look forward to that make the holidays feel like holidays to us.

My husband and I both think where we are at in life is such an exciting time because this is when we get to decide what traditions we want to start and how we want to do things as a little family. Our calendar of events changes from year to year according to where we are living and if we can afford to go "home" for the holidays, but there are little things that we do every year regardless of where we are at.

Tree: We purchased a pre lit Christmas tree when we first moved to Germany 4 years ago. It was on clearance after Christmas and it was a skinny tall tree. Each year we pull it out we write on the box where we live/what was going on during that year and the date that we put it up. It's been neat to see the past few years and what our lives have been like.

Santa/No Santa?: Since last year was the first year that we had adopted our little girl, our St.Nicholas tradition is pretty new. Our daughter came to us not believing in Santa so that was a easy hurdle to cross. We loved the way that the Germans celebrated St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th). The children set out stockings/ shoes on the 5th and get their "santa" stuff then. We did this last year. In addition, we read books about St. Nicholas and there's even a veggie tale movie about him. It sorta gets santa out of the way so the focus can be a little more on giving to others and Christ's birth during Christmas.

Presents: We choose to do 3 gifts for our little girl. There are several reasons. 1) We don't want to start habits now that we cannot continue when Lord-willing we have more children and cannot afford more gifts 2) Our daughter gets so many gifts from friends and family that it truly is a little overwhelming
3) We tie it into the nativity account when the wise men gave Jesus 3 gifts.
These gifts are labeled as a need, a want, and a surprise.

Christmas Eve: We of course celebrate the gift of a Redeemer that was given when God sent Jesus, but we try to make that an intentional celebration each day and week of the year. We are serious about loving and worshiping the Trinity. Easter is really an even more special event to reflect on as believers. Anyways, I preface our Christmas Eve tradition with all that because it's terribly "unspiritual" of us. We watch Elf every Christmas Eve. Yep, we love it. It's so cute.

What are some traditions you do with your family? Are any of ours the same?

1 comment:

  1. Love the idea of writing on the box! We are attempting to do a every thursday night christmas caroling to our families. The plan is to bake something during the day and after dinner show up at a family members house, bless them with a few carols and go inside and visit with homemade goodies! We're hoping that this helps us to spend some quality time with family alone before the big family gatherings.