Saturday, December 16, 2006

Favorite Christmas Traditions

  1. Our cookie exchange party (coming up this Monday! - I'm making Russian tea cakes.)
  2. Going home to PA every other year - I feel like a little kid again. It sure is easier on Santa when we stay home, though.
  3. My Grandma's Christmas dinner. It's always exactly the same. A perfect ham (I mean it, I've never had ham that good anywhere else or at any other time), baked potatoes, green beans, corn, crescents, milk, and Christmas cookies from the Serbian church.
  4. Our shepherding group Christmas party and white elephant gift exchange.
  5. Filling the book basket, coffee table, and end tables with our Christmas books, getting even more from the library, and reading Christmas stories all month.
  6. Lighting the Advent wreath each evening, singing carols together, and reading about the Promised One. The children constantly calculate how far away Christmas is by the number of unlit candles and love to blow the candles out after our family time. Every Sunday of Advent is exciting because a new candle is added to the old ones. And the Christ candle remains white, unlit, waiting until Christmas Eve. Like the world was waiting, waiting, so long ago.
  7. Learning the Christmas verses for the year. We're working on Luke 2:1-16 and should have it perfected by Christmas. There are so many opportunities to say them as we see angels on street lamps, and nativities in front yards.
  8. The children also love to learn as many Christmas carols as possible. Rosie's favorite is "Away In a Manger," she does all of the motions. Anna Kate loves "Angels We Have Heard On High," and Ethan really likes "Silent Night," but "The First Noel" is starting to win out. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is always a hit, we've really enjoyed Reliant K's version this year, and we love to sing along with Bruce Sprinsteen's "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." I wish you could all hear Ethan sing this; Brian always comments, "when can you start giving him voice lessons?!" It's hysterical. Okay. I obviously have a passion for Christmas music, I'm actually feeling guilty for not mentioning Bing Crosby, Gene Autry.....
  9. Wearing my Christmas sneakers.
  10. Christmas jewelry. I buy a new pair of Christmas earrings nearly every year (the $1-2 variety). My favorite pair is the gold jingle balls with a small red and green plaid bow at the top.
  11. Christmas movies - White Christmas(my Daddy and I love to sing "Snow"), Christmas in Connecticut, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How The Grinch Stole Christmas...
  12. Visiting a living nativity.
  13. Driving through a holiday lights display. We have one in our tow that takes about 10-15 minutes to drive through, and then gives you the option to loop back through before you leave. We usually have to go through at least three times - and then "hurry, hurry, buckle back in!"
  14. "Christmas Lights" runs (see below).


Kim said...

These sound wonderful! Memorizing the scriptures is excellent! I love that your little ones know the Christmas songs! My 3 1/2 old is singing in church today with the children's choir...I can't wait to see that!

Grandma's Christmas dinner-what can be better than that? Enjoy these special times with her!

Have a wonderful Lord's Day!


Terri said...

Explain the whole advent wreath and candles to me would ya? Never heard of that till this year and I'm intrigued. I would like our Christmas(es) to be more simple, meaningful and full of HIM. We've cut down on a lot of the hoopla that comes with this holiday but yet I still feel like something is missing. Can you help me soak up the meaning??

Alicia said...

If you haven't visited Advent for Evangelicals at
you should. Lindsey has a great site up this year. I just found this site I haven't read it all, so I don't know if its doctrine is okay, but it seemed to give a basic explanation of the traditional season and wreath.
I have a book called Christ In Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration, by Dobson, Swindoll,Boice, and Sproul that we're using this year.

Terri said...

Oh yeah, I was surprised to see that you make cookies - do they require eggs? (hee hee) (smile smile)

Alicia said...

you're so funny. It is exciting though to make cookies without wheat, oats, or dairy.

Ann V. said...

Your post evoked so many memories... and new traditions to take up. Christmas memory verses! (We are in the midst of the book of 1 John--yet I would like to do this... THANK YOU.)

My humble thanks, Alicia...
All is gift,
Ann Voskamp