Christmas Traditions (old and new)

We enjoyed advent so much this year. It was really wonderful to celebrate as the culture in general celebrated. We tried to avoid the annoying side of that, like Christmas music overload and crowds in the stores. It was also fun to have a COLD Christmas this year! We tried to keep some of our tried and true traditions while also throwing in some new ones (like UDF eggnog and peppermint shakes while driving around looking at lights). Here are a few of them…
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This year, we put a basket of Christmas books under the tree rather than presents. Although I had to keep replenishing it from the library, it was a good way to avoid the feeling that Christmas is centered around gifts- and it helped Silas be a lot more patient about the countdown. I think this will be a permanent tradition.

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This little angel was the start of my whole tree angel collection. She was gifted to my family by her maker, a friend in San Francisco- my parents later gifted her to me. She is my favorite.

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Advent devotions. Although we didn’t get these in every night, we did some of the readings from The Jesus Story Book bible and thought that worked well as each story ties in at the end to the coming of Jesus.

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The kids made an itty bitty snowman with our duplex neighbors…

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and had lots of fun playing in the snow.

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I burned candles every night. Because I CAN! (in Thailand it’s too hot and the fans blow them out :)).

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We read lots of Christmas books. Here, Tom’s reading The Grinch. They are into it!

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I decorated the front door with jingle bells instead of a wreath.

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We made gingerbread cookies because that is the one cookie we can’t do Christmas without.

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Teacher gifts all ready to go. I loved wrapping as much as ever- went with a polka dot theme this year and made bird tags. Eliza and I had fun stamping gold polka dot paper.

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On a frigid night, we ventured into the downtown….

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To see this huge manger scene at a church and….

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The wonderful electric train scene at the main library. So worth it. Instead of standing still and watching it, Silas raced in circles following it.

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The day of the kid’s Christmas program at church, we decided to make a day long adventure out of it. We at a packed lunch and supper at the church (taking advantage of the church microwave, we cleaned all the random leftovers from our fridge in one day!) and in between, we went to visit this lovely lady. Ruby Byler is our team mate Dan’s mom. She lost her husband this fall and is now living in a retirement community. The kids enjoyed meeting her for the first time and hearing about Christmasses past. What a great lady!

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He had a giggle fit because the tree poked his ear. 🙂

We also went to see the zoo lights but I’ll save that and the Christmas play for another post….

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