There are a lot of little things that awaken the Christmas spirit for our family each year. One such thing is when we first begin to see the lights and decorations appear on people's homes. There is something so delightful about a house illuminated by twinkly lights and adorned with wreaths, garland and ribbons. I wouldn't mind stealing the house below as it is SO beautiful and similar to what I imagine my dream home looking like. I'm sorry..that was not very Christ-masy of me...I digress...lights so festive!
and it's even more exciting when we begin to put up our own lights..which we continued to add to for weeks. hehe...It's hard for me to stop (yes, I have a problem) and each year we seem to add a little more than the year before. Oh dear, Griswold family here we come. I'd love a giant star over the garage next year, a huge nativity on my front lawn (anyone want to make me one??) and more lights on the bushes! That's not ridiculous at all is it? Fortunately for me, my hubby shares my love of lights and enjoys putting them up. Yes, I am blessed.
Bringing our decorations down from the attic is always festive and fun (the messes around the house for days...not so much!) I am especially fond of our scripture nativity and Daisy gets to play with it to her heart's content. If it breaks...I'll buy another. It's worth it to see her enjoying it! This year she gave baby "dejus" a "baff" nearly every day. He must have been pretty dirty laying in that stable after all.
Venturing out on a chilly night to pick out the perfect Christmas tree is so much fun. Nothing like plunking that tree down in the living room and filling the house with the smell of fresh pine. LOVE that smell and I have to say that our tree smelled awesome this year. We ended up getting our 7 ft tree from Home Depot this year.
Of course there are little things like wearing holiday socks. It's actually quite incredible that a simple pair of Christmas socks can totally brighten my day. I bought a few pairs this year because I enjoyed them so much. I just wanted to sit on the couch and stare at my feet...no, not really but, I did take a picture of them and post it to instagram. hehe
One of my favorite things is going to our mail box with Daisy each afternoon to gather any Christmas cards that we may have been sent. Thank you to everyone who sent us a card this year. I just LOVE getting mail that isn't a bill for a change and I LOVE seeing the smiling faces of all the people we love all around our kitchen!
Then of course cookie baking parties are always so much fun when you have little ones...though the extra five pounds on my thighs...not so much:)
And potluck dinners with awesome neighbors are becoming an annual Christmas tradition that we all love and enjoy.
Seeing the stores and malls all decorated, Santa sitting in front of an enormous Christmas tree (and maybe getting a picture if the line isn't an hour long like it was this year (crazy!) and even walking amongst the other jolly (generally speaking) shoppers always gets me into the holiday spirit.
I mean how could you look at this face and not be excited about having a holly, jolly Christmas??
And then there is the local parade right in the heart of a darling downtown nearby. This is our second year attending with some good friends of ours and this year Daisy was in hog Heaven. All the dancers, jump ropers and city council members sitting on top of cars were princesses according to her. She loved the bands and all the lights. She also required that we hold her nearly the entire parade and that wasn't easy but, the super mom in me rose to the occasion. lol Oh the things we do for our children. Yup, the parade is definitely festive celebration that gets us in the spirit!
Now that our little one is getting older we get to create new traditions with her. This year we visited a life sized nativity at a church not far from us. I really wanted to give Daisy a tangible connection to Jesus...who happened to be absent from the nativity all season long?? lol Regardless, the nativity was a HUGE hit!!! More on that later...but, this will be a special tradition for years to come.
We always try to make it to our church Christmas Eve service if we are in town. It's such a special way to spend the evening as a family. We generally dress up (for like the first time all year) and we gather in a large room that is jam packed with other people who have come to worship Jesus and thank Him for all that He is. It refocuses our distracted hearts and minds on the most important thing in life, Jesus! I got Daisy out of her Sunday school class early to join us for the candle lighting portion of the service because she loves candles and fire (hmmmm). She was mesmerized as she watched the candle flickering in front of her face in the dark room and listened to the sounds of carols being sung all around her. It was bsolutely beautiful in every way.
I will say that while we were driving home I asked Daisy how Sunday school was and excitedly asked if she learned about baby Jesus and this is what she said, "uhh I hitting someone but din I say soweee." [Sidenote: we are having a little hitting issue with Daisy lately and yes, we are working on it of course but, it will take time. If kids take toys from her she hits them instinctively. A two year old at her finest!] So then I said, "oh honey remember how you are supposed to say nicely, "stop please," when someone is taking something from you and we give hugs and kisses not hits?" To which Daisy says, "uhhhh okaaayyyy yes momma and din I poop." So she hit a kid and pooped for the teacher and not in the potty on Christmas Eve....oh my...poor teacher. I think I had a mommy crisis driving home. At least it's a funny story and it will be told for years to come that's for sure.
And last but, certainly not least we have yet another new tradition that really helps to bring the spirit of Christmas to life for our family...baking a cake on Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Just another fun and tangible way to help little ones understand what it is we are celebrating. Daisy loved, loved, LOVED this activity and more on this activity to come in another blog post as well:). The stories revolving around these activities are too good not to get a blog post of their own!
There you have it. These are a few of our favorite Christmas things. What are some of yours? I loved seeing all the pictures on Facebook and Instagram of all the wonderful Christmas things everyone did. It truly is a magical time of year for young and old alike and though it all goes by so fast it is nice to turn the page and be given a fresh start with the dawn of a new year...2013 here we come!