Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Our boys are small, but we are starting some Christmas traditions. I realized this year I need to be more purposeful in them. I have lots of things I like to do, but they have always been "when we get to doing them". Christmas pjs are purchased, but I don't have a certain time I give them out. Our Christmas gingerbread village is bought, but we have not set aside the actual time to make them. As I follow other friend's blogs (Lori & Keri so far), I feel bad that I don't have these things nailed down. We have done our tree (accompanied by Mariah on the iPod), gone shopping individually at Dollar Tree for Daddy and brothers, wrapped Daddy's presents... I think that is it so far. I just want to have a more "set" time and order to what we do. The boys would enjoy it too, knowing what and when to expect the next fun thing!

This year I decided I need to be more purposeful. I think this has to do a lot with the boys age. They ask a lot more questions, they soak it all in. Above all else I want them to understand the birth of Jesus is the reason for this season.

Don't get me wrong, I totally LOVE Christmas and all that comes with the season. I love the lights, trees, purchasing gifts, music, the movies, etc. I just need to help guide my children for the actual purpose of Christmas through the midst of all the other activities.

One way I help them to focus on others is to shop for their brothers and find something their brothers will like. They don't get anything for themselves. They enjoy, and don't like it all at the same time :) "I don't want my brothers to have candy if I don't get candy - it's not fair."

Another thing we started this year is a Jesse tree. I had never heard of it before until we talked about it at MOPs. It's an advent project of devotions and ornaments that you do with your kids every day in December until Christmas. At MOPs last month we created the ornaments. Actually, we each brought twenty of the same ornament that we created. Then we exchanged with everyone else for the ones they made.

While you are "supposed" to add an ornament every day, we have changed that up since we have three and it's hard for them not to be upset that it's not "their" day. So I put all the ornaments up and we do an "I spy" to find the ornament we are talking about that day.

So far it seems to be going well! I will admit that we started a couple days late, so we have been doubling up. The boys have enjoyed it and so have I!

We use the devotional for our Jesse Tree Advent. You also can print off ornaments to work on them yourselves!

What do you do that helps your family be purposeful for Jesus this season?

our black 4 ft Jesse Tree full of ornaments
(yes, black. I enjoy things that are "different")
The boys wooden manger that they can play with all the time


ECarter said...

Love it! We are doing our jesse tree regular and taking turns who gets to hang the ornament. We also have a little activity called "what God wants for christmas" that we do every year I think it has about 7 activities so I need to get that out this week! We took your advice about the sibling gifts. I took a last night & she did a fabulous selfless job of picking e a gift. I was really proud of how purposeful she was about it! Thanks for the suggestion! I will take e later this week! :)

Dumpysunshine said...

We have three traditions that we do each year. We do the "What God Wants for Christmas" activity. We also purchase a "Special Ornament" for each child and my husband and I get one for each other. The hope is that as our children grow and leave the home, they will take their special ornaments with them to start their collection for their trees. When they've all left the nest, David & I will still have the special ornaments we purchased for each other to decorate our tree. The other thing that we do is purchase 3 gifts for each of our children and each other. Three is to remind us of the gifts given to Jesus and it also controls our spending. We think hard about each thing that we purchase to make sure that it is something our children will love and our kids appreciate three special things so much more than a cache of toys they don't need.

Shawna said...

I really like your jesse tree. I've NEVER heard of that. Definetly something I think i'll start (next year that is). We are too far into Dec now. We are bad about traditions. I always have the greatest intentions of finding a "new" tradition but something always seems to come up and we never do them. This is my goal be better about traditions.

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