Saturday, December 1, 2012

a few ways to celebrate the season {giveaway!}

i hope wednesday's words didn't seem like a 'bah humbug' post.  i love celebrating christmas.  i look at my pretty twinkly tree at least 100 times a day and smile.  

{NOTE: it is not a coincidence that 'gentleness' is positioned where i can see it from my usual post in the's that piece of the fruit that i sometimes have to work extra hard on}

i could hardly wait to wake up this morning and spend the day with my family making wreaths, stringing lights, and listening to christmas music.  {and my merry mistletoe candle is burning round the clock!}

i just want to do christmas for all the right reasons.
so here's the little deal i have made with myself...if it doesn't stress me or my family out and it helps us embrace the true meaning of this season - let's do it!

and so for us...these are some of the practical ways that we are celebrating christmas this year...

~::~ we've already done our christmas tree decorating night.  my kids help a little but i do most of the decorating while they play with our nativity scene.  once all the ornaments are hung and the lights are on we make cookies and then sit under the tree with our milk and cookies as daddy reads the christmas story. {don't feel bad if you don't have your tree up...we got lucky and had time to do it early this year.  you may remember that i didn't do quite so well a couple of years ago}

~::~ tonight we will venture to bethlehem as a family.  no...we are not taking a mediterranean holiday {unfortunately}.  a church in our town hosts a really neat event that transports you back in time to bethlehem on the night that jesus was born.  i bet your area has some cool local church events that are free or really cheap too...check them out.  and if you live in the charlotte area...i'd love to hear about what you find!

~::~ our family {and our church} celebrates advent.  this is not some weird, mystical ritual. it's actually just another way of saying that we take the entire month of december to prepare for the big day.  advent means the arrival of a notable person or event.  in this case we are talking about the arrival of jesus and the celebration of his birth.  click on the picture below to take a look at the format we are using in our church {and our family}...
~::~ as part of our observance of advent we are using the family devotional from ann voskamp's blog.  each day i read the devotional as the kids decorate their ornaments which we are hanging from their very own advent tree {a giant stick spray painted white that my dad rigged up for me}.  last year we did truth in the tinsel and lucy actually remembered the symbolism of those ornaments we made when we pulled them out this year!

i will keep you posted on our other christmas festivities throughout the month.  let me know how your family will be celebrating!  i will draw a name from all of my blog and facebook comments on monday and the winner will receive a christmas doorknobber!