07 December 2012

December 2012

For our Christmas season, we are learning the song "Happy Birthday Jesus" and we are listening to this rendition to learn it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rur534Yzb-g.  It's a little different than I had imagined we would be singing (a traditional Christmas hymn) but it's a lovely, easy tune with wonderful words for Possum age 4¾, and Twinkle age 3½, even Sweetness age 2 is "singing" along quite easily.

Our favourite storybooks to read are:

Next year, I'd love to start a "tradition" of wrapping 25 books in Christmas paper, and each day opening one, and reading it that day.  Well, our Christmas library currently has 3, and I doubt I will have 21 books added to our collection by next year.  But we can at least start.  These books really are my favourite so far, all pointing to Jesus.

On that note, we do not incorporate Santa into any of our traditions.  We have felt for a very long time that for our family it is important to focus on Jesus during the Christmas season, pointing our children to Him, making everything we do about Jesus' birth.  We felt very strongly about this before we even had children, and felt even more strongly after they arrived in our lives.  However, I learned from a friend a great idea that we may begin doing next year, and that is to recognise exactly who Saint Nicholas of Myra was, and to celebrate St. Nicholas Day (which is 6th of December thus getting this out of the way to allow us to continue to focus on Jesus the remainder of December), teaching our family about St. Nick, and able to address why Santa is everywhere around us, opposed to my first inclination which is to avoid the topic altogether-- not so easy with inquisitive young minds.  Last year Possum then aged 3 thought that Goliath was the man in the big red suit.  We never corrected her.  This year, however, we have had some explaining to do.  Ahem.  The twisted story of how "Santa Claus" actually came about is really a s-t-r-e-t-c-h from St. Nicholas, and so we will still not do anything to incorporate Santa Claus but in fact concentrate on Nicholas of Myra, his life, and add some fun traditions to remember him.  This will be the day that our blossoms will receive their Christmas stockings, and chocolate coins in their shoes!

And in my looking up ideas for celebrating St. Nicholas Day, I read about a tradition on a friend's blog that sounds fitting... because Jesus received three gifts have our children receive three gifts on Christmas morning.  I have an entire year to solidify and plan how these new "traditions" can begin and bring good solid teaching to our family.  What fun!

We began a tradition that we have just loved from the moment Husband and I heard about it- to give gifts on Thanksgiving morning and share why we are thankful for each other.  This has been absolutely one of our most favourite times of the year. And for us, it feels like a beautiful way to kick off the Christmas season.  This, we felt, was fitting to keep December more about Jesus, and especially Christmas morning itself.  And thus, adding new "traditions" as we grow as a family is going to bring such fun and fulfillment, and just as we strive to do with everything, point ourselves and our children to Christ- whether that be at Christmastime or the rest of the year.

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