Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Traditions

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be working, not posting on my blog, but I couldn't resist sharing a fun Christmas tradition that we started last year. For the month of December I get 24 Christmas books. Most are from the library, but I'm buying a couple each year to build up our collection. Then I wrap each book and put them under the tree. Each night the girls get to open one of the books and read it for bedtime stories. Lily loved this tradition last year and has been looking forward to starting it this Christmas season.

This is what books are for, right? Fun to read and useful in case there's an indoor snow storm!
Our book tonight is one of our own called What is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams. It's a fun board book that talks about all the fun stuff at Christmas, but that the real meaning is to celebrate Christ's birth,
Another favorite that we discovered at the library a couple years ago is The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado. I loved it so much that I bought the board book last year. It tells about a lamb who was in the stable when Jesus was born.

One I found at the library last year and will check out again this year is A Night Without Darkness by Timothy Robinson. It tells of the night of Christ's birth from the perspective of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. Very powerful.

It's so nice living with Mom, especially at Christmastime. I'm always so busy at Christmas that I often don't take as much time as I should to do fun seasonal things with the kids. That's one thing that I'll always remember from my home growing up, Mom and Dad always decorated the house festively and there were always good smells, pretty candles, and Christmas music playing.
This year Grammie got Lily a paper Christmas tree of her very own that she could build and decorate. She's been having a great time with it!
Mom has this blow-up snowman that usually sits out on her front porch. This year she brought it inside and the girls, especially Amelia, were so enchanted with it that she decided to leave it inside. Amelia runs up to it, pokes it so that it tips backwards, then giggles and runs around the room.

Mom also has a couple of other fun toys for kids at Christmas. She has three talking/singing stuffed animals that the girls get a real kick out of. There are two snowmen that sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and another one that sings "Rockin' Around the Chrismas Tree" with penguins that shake their tails. So cute! Amelia loves the teddy bear that reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas." She carries him around and loves on him several times a day.

Another thing that I love to do at Christmas is sit in the dark and look at the Christmas tree lights.

Growing up, we called it "watching the tree" and Dan always thought it was silly to watch a tree without blinking lights, so this year we made them blink. Tonight after stories, Lily and I turned off the lights and I sang Christmas songs to her. It brought back such great memories from my childhood. I love all the Christmas hymns. More than anything, that is what makes me feel the Christmas Spirit.
As we were laying on the couch, I said to Lily, "Did you know that sitting on this very couch watching the Christmas tree is when your Daddy and I decided to get married?" I told her of how I was home visiting for Christmas after I had met Dan in Virginia, and he flew out to see me and meet the family. We were sitting on the couch and Dan said to me, "Well, do you feel ready to get married?" It was the closest thing to a proposal there was. The next week we called the Washington D.C. Temple and scheduled our sealing.
Here are a few other favorites from Christmas Eve last year. Growing up we always read several versions of The Night Before Christmas followed by Dad reading Luke 2 from the Bible.
Last year we read two Christmas books then Dan read from the Bible. I set up my camera with the wide-angle lens and cable release and snapped photos while we listened.

The best thing about Christmas Eve last year is that we decided to do the big family party with all the cousins the weekend before Christmas and we stayed home for a quiet, intimate evening at home with just our little family and Grammie. I don't know about you, but I love Christmas Eve even more than Christmas Day. I love the anticipation, but I also love the spirit I feel as we read together as a family.


Christianna said...

I had no idea that your proposal was so romantic. I love just sitting in the dark and watching the tree and the snow outside. I love that they leave the lights on all the trees here until April.

Anonymous said...

I love your post. I also am enjoying the new format on your blog!

I love Christmas too. I also love sitting watching the Christmas tree in the dark. It's so peaceful and lovely. Just reminds you of how slow we do need to take it at this time of year.

I miss you so much!

Josh and Jenn said...

I love your new title, it is so cute. Also, your 24 books of Christmas tradition is such a clever idea. I would love to start doing that. Do you think Josh would be as excited to open and
read books as much as Lily is though? Probably not. Oh, you guys scored last year for Christmas. Look at that pile of presents under the tree!

Becky in Wyo said...

I think I got depressed reading your post. Sorry. I realized that there aren't very many traditions going on in our house, and I wish I could recreate the atmosphere our parents created for us during Christmas. We were really lucky, you know that? We put up our tree, and the lights outside our house, but that was all. Maybe if I can get the kids more involved, they'll kick their mom in the rear to keep things going.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

Hi Sue. I met you once at Cami's parents house for their going away party. Anyway, your Christmas story is just so cute. I might just have to check back in on you now and then.

And your girls? Gorgeous.