Monday, November 23, 2009

Traditions Old and New

I love traditions.  I think it is because I like things to be the same.  People tease me about that a little.

Here are a few things that are new and old around here for the holidays this year.

We did the Thankfulness Tree again.  It was wonderful to count our blessings each night in November at the dinner table.  I was struck that every night I wanted to name the same few things.  I don't think that means that I don't have a lot of things and people to be thankful for, I just really love a few of them a lot!  The PKs wrote down their cousins almost every night because we are going to see them soon.  So about half of the leaves say, "Puffs and Sammy." Feel free to click here "Thankfulness Tree" to see last year's tree and get the full story.

A new tradition this year is the advent wreath.  I grew up with this, so it isn't new to me.  In fact, this is the exact wreath we used in my family growing up.  My mom gave it to me last year.  Either because I am the most reformed theology/homeschool daughter she has, or because I mentioned it.  It had the same candles she last used in the box so I just used them.  I wonder what year she last used the wreath.  If you remember mom, write it in the comments.

Another first for us is doing Operation Christmas Child.  What a great experience this was.  The girls were old enough to understand what it was all about.  I let them watch a video about it. Jane kept asking why some kids wouldn't have Christmas presents.  If you think about it, that is a pretty deep question, one that I still wrestle with myself.  We printed out a list of suggested gifts and I pretty much let them choose the items for the boxes.  I just walked around the store behind them sort of sniffing and wiping my nose because it was so precious.  If you want to tear up too, here is a little video link about Operation Christmas Child:  Operation Christmas Child.

I have been searching for a Christ-centered Nativity calendar for awhile.  I finally broke down and bought this one custom-made on this year.  This actually isn't ours.  Ours only has a nativity scene, not a Christmas tree.  And ours is blank because we haven't started yet.  But otherwise it is the same. You add a piece of the nativity every day of December until you put baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve.

Lastly, I really lucked out helping Gram get ready for a yard sale last summer.  She said I could have these vintage Christmas ornaments she didn't want anymore and we are going to decorate our tree with them tonight.  I LOVE vintage stuff.  I will try to get some pictures when it is all done.


MA mom said...

I love all those traditions. They bring back warm memories. I wish I had known about the Thankfulness Tree. I don't remember exactly when we stopped doing the Advent Wreath. I know it became more difficult the older you girls became, so make the most of the early years!!

Kelli said...

I love traditions too...we can be talked about together. I'm sure the girls will appreciate them as well.

Aunt Marty said...

Now that my kids are young adults, it's interesting to see which "traditions" they remember and enjoyed. I'm always surprised by which ones meant the most. Traditions also tend to instill a lot of security in children because of the foundations that mean so much to us, so keep it up as you guys are raising some terrific little gals. Love to you and yours!