And A

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Days that Follow: Epiphany

Thursday, December 17, 2009

After Christmas, everything stays the same until Epiphany.

That is the day that represents the wise men coming to visit Jesus sometime in the years after he was born.

On this day we each get another gift from our parents. It's usually something small like a cd, movie, or whatever.

This is the beginning of the end of the Christmas season in our home. By the time Epiphany comes around the tree is all but dead. We try to get it undecorated and out of the house as soon as possible. I leave any snowmen/winter decorations up until February, but the nativity, garland, and all get put away as soon as the tree is gone.

Christmas may be over, but the birth of our Savior lives on! The joy He has brought us continues to manifest itself throughout the year.

I love Christmas for many reasons. It's a time to purposefully look back on all that God has done and joyfully look ahead to all that He will do!

The Big Day: Christmas Morning

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We do not do anything special on Christmas eve.
Everything happens on Christmas morning.

When we get up, we all gather in the living room.
Somebody reads the Christmas story from Luke.
Then, we exchange gifts.
My parents get each of us three gifts (to go with the three gifts that Jesus received).
Along with these gifts are ones we've bought for each other, or from other family and friends.

Then, we do our stockings. They are full of little things like gum, candy, hair goodies for girls, little games, gloves, etc.

THEN, it's breakfast time. We usually have homemade waffles with whipped cream and strawberries.

The rest of the day is spent visiting, sledding (if there is snow), sharing our new gifts, playing games, and of course, preparing and eating the Christmas dinner.

The Days Before: The Tree

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The first or second week of December, we get our Christmas Tree.

When it's ready, we bring inside.
Dad strings the lights, and then the rest of us put all the ornaments on it.

Our ornaments are all very different.
Some are from when my mom was growing up, some are homemade, some have been gifts, but most of them are ornaments that our god-parents send us every year. As you can imagine there are several boxes worth. The tree is always topped with a big gold star.

We have plain tree skirt that goes around the tree. We cut off all the low branches and have a giant nativity scene that goes under the tree.

The Days Before: Advent

Monday, December 14, 2009

We do nightly devotions during Advent season.

The things that fill this time of preparing our hearts for Christmas have changed each year.

We started with doing the Advent candles and a reading from "Jotham's Journey".

We made our way through that series over the next few years and then a few years ago, we discovered the Jesse Tree.

This year, we are celebrating Advent in several ways.
First we use the Jesse Tree. We read Scripture and a portion of a book that explains the topic of that night. Then someone opens the package containing that day's symbol that tells part of the account leading up to Jesus' birth. Whoever opened it gets to place it on the tree.
Then, we read a chapter from a book called "Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus".

The Days Before: Beginning

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The day after Thanksgiving, Christmas begins!

I pull out the Christmas CD's, Christmas movies, and Christmas decorations.

Some of My Favorite CD's Are:
"The Living Room Sessions" - Chris Rice
"Christmas Sing with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby"
"I'll Be Home For Christmas" - Various Artists
"Favorite Carols of Christmas" - Various Artists
"Gift Rap" - CMR and Friends

Some of My Favorite Movies Are:
"It's A Wonderful Life"
"White Christmas"
"Holiday Inn"

Some of My Favorite Christmas Decorations:
Nativity Scene - especially the one that used to belong to my mom's parents
Jesse Tree
Green Garland Strung With Lights
Spiced Candles

No Santa Here

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I wanted to mention one thing about our Christmas celebration, but couldn't figure out where to put it. So, I'll just say it now.

Jesus is the center our celebration of Christmas. After all, it is the time that we remember His birth and look forward to His second coming. As such, santa claus has absolutely no place in our lives. We do this simply because having santa takes the focus off of Jesus.

John Piper says it better than I can!

Christmas Time Is Here

Christmas. Some people celebrate it, some people don't. Everyone has their reasons for everything they do.
For some, it's "tradition"!
For some, it's just doing whatever happens.
For others, it's about making new, purposeful traditions that glorify and honor Christ because the previous generations of their family failed to do so.

So, what I'm wondering is, how do YOU celebrate Christmas?
I want to know about Christmas morning at your house as well as anything else you do in the days leading up to and following Christmas.

Our Christmas celebration has changed over the years.

Over the next few days I'll share some of our Christmas with you!

Recipes I'd Like to Try Out Soon

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Last week, I went shopping at our town's annual Christmas bazaar. I didn't bring home too many goodies, but I did get one AWESOME one.

I love aprons. All different kinds of styles and fabrics make me smile.

One kind of apron that I didn't have was a Christmas/winter themed one.
That is, until this year!

I picked up the cutest reversible apron. It's got all things Christmas on one side and then the other side is a dark red with creme colored snow flakes!
I can hardly wait to get in the kitchen with it on.

As it happens, I've also been having my eye on some new recipes to try out. Of course, there are some old ones in the mix as well!

Here's a List (for my sake and your enjoyment):
Cake Balls

*Note: If you tried any of the above recipes or recipes similar to them and would have a review to offer, I'd love to hear it!*


I don't know how many of you are readers of the blog that Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters write.

But, I am. I don't read EVERYTHING they post, but I do read a good portion of it.
Whenever I do, I always leave refreshed, encouraged, and challenged.
Their latest tidbits on Advent are no different.

Today's post was especially encouraging!

So, do me a favor, or rather, you a favor, and go check it out!