December 10, 2013

Preparing the way... trying, that is

Happy Advent friends! 

This really is my most favorite time of the year. The lights, the trees, the songs, the joy, the anticipation, oh my! Wait and did I mention preparing for the celebration of the King of Kings birth?? This preparing is what it is all about and how often do I fill my mind with the other "stuff" (though good and fun and part of the Christmas season) to the point of putting baby Jesus on the back porch? A.LOT. 

So, what am I doing this year to focus on that Jesus truly is the reason for the season... read on...

1. Santa

My favorite Santa. A bag of M&M's to all who can tell me who is behind the white beard? 

First, I must say that we do include Santa in our Christmas/Advent happenings. One of my best friends Ann sent me this article and I loved it. You must read... it says everything that I have thought of about Santa and more...

2. Gifts 
I stress and stress some more about gift giving. I am not and have never been a good gift giver. I think and think and think some more about the perfect gift and then after finding it, I question and question some more whether the person will really like. It is so annoying. I completely annoy myself with my antics. And as far as my kids, I think and think the entire month of December about what I/santa will get them for Christmas. I just don't want them to be disappointed. I want them to wake up and have a magical experience. So I think, and look, and shop... 

Sooooh, my goals for this year...
~~ Try not to stress.
~~ Give myself a time limit to shop.
~~ Buy only 3 gifts for each child (and stocking stuffers :). Why 3? Because as my friend told me: Jesus only got three gifts on his birthday, so why would we get anymore than that. Brilliant I tell ya! 

*Side note: I am actually done buying gifts for the kids, minus a few stocking stuffers! I am Hallelujah-ing it all around my Christmas tree that this is done! 

3. Prayer 
I am going to make prayer, like sit down talk with Jesus prayer, a part of my daily routine. There will be no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Also, I am going to confession next Friday, because this soul of mine is longing for it. 
4. Advent Wreath 

I am a huge fan of advent wreaths where the kids get to open a box everyday. We have a couple going over here so that each of my kiddos gets to open something, thus trying to prevent tears and tantrums. I haven't done a Jesse tree yet, but I am hoping that next year I will venture onto it as a new tradition. Granted I say that every year (in regards to the Jesse Tree), but for sure next year *wink, wink*.


5. Advent Candle Wreath 

We also have an Advent candle wreath, which we light during dinner before we say grace. The kids absolutely love this! In years pasts we have had some close calls with small fires, but nothing to worry about this year, mamma is all over it! 

6. Nativity Scenes
I always have the Little People Nativity set available for play during the year, but during Christmas time I bring out lots of nativity sets for the kids to play with at will. Grace is my avid nativity set player. She can't get enough of baby Jesus and Mudder Mary. 
These two were playing so sweetly until they started fighting over baby Jesus. 

7. Happy Birthday Jesus Cake 
On Christmas day we always have a Happy Birthday Jesus cake for dessert where we actually sing Happy Birthday to Him. This helps to make it more "real" for the kids that it is really is Jesus' birthday. 

8. Homemade Gifts from the kids 
I always have the kids make their own gifts for each other, Aunts and Uncles, and Grandparents. This can be a lot, and I mean A LOT, of work for me, but it is always worth it. I think my mom and siblings might be a little tired of homemade Christmas ornaments and picture frames, but hey this gal (me) only has so much craftiness to her. Any suggestions are TOTALLY welcome and appreciated. 

As I am writing this all out, it doesn't seem like much that we are actually doing, but for our family full of little ones it is just enough. 

PS. I have been trying to get this post up for what seems like days now. My Mac is on the verge of total malfunction-- the screen is cracked, the mouse only works when pressed ten times, and I am missing a few keys. New Mac on the horizon, not a chance.  I'm going to type this thing into the ground...

7 comments :

  1. So happy to read of another pro-Santa blogger! Yay!

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  2. Is that Santa picture from 2 years ago in Naples? Veteren's Park? I remember a Christmas party at the park where Matt/Santa came and read Christmas stories to all the kids. Fun!

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    1. Amelia, you are so right!! Good memory :).

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  3. Sounds like your Advent is going wonderfully!
    Love The Little People Nativity....
    And we love Santa too! : )

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  4. Love this! Oh it's so hard this time of year to find the right balance with all of my wonderful goals, love your realistic plans! And I'm writing a post for next week with Chrismas activities/projects...maybe homemade gift ideas that somehow incorporates outdoor play...I'll keep you posted :)

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  5. Love this! One of my co-workers once told me she does the "3 gifts, like the Christ child" and I thought that was such a great idea. :)

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  6. Love the happy birthday Jesus cake! We'll have to try that! Love the Little People Nativity set, although our Mary is probably somewhere in our old backyard in Naples...

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