Carol | November 30, 2011
This year, we started decorating for Christmas earlier than ever (not last weekend, but the weekend before). Even though we don’t decorate that much, I knew it would take a while to get it done. I still don’t have the garland on the stair railing. As you can imagine, C1 was pretty excited with all the “new” things all over the living room. Usually we listen to Christmas music or watch a Christmas movie while decorating, but who can miss “Cheaper By the Dozen” when it is on TV?
C1 concentrating on adding the lights to the ceramic tree
L7 and C10 setting up the manger
C1 examining the Baby Jesus
C1 looking at the Jesse Tree ornaments and Christmas books
C1 enjoying the Fisher-Price nativity scene
Here are some old pictures and comments regarding some of our Christmas traditions.
We are on the third Jesse tree devotion as we started early in hopes that we won’t have to double up or skip as many as usual. I haven’t done it “right” since the first year we tried it, and we even skipped last year completely. So far so good this year.
Here is our Jesse Tree from 2008:
Here are a couple links to free Jesse Tree Devotions:
Although there is no problem fitting in the treat from the advent calendar house, we started that early, too, just because we were so excited. Beforehand, I had the kids sign a contract – no fighting, no jealousy, no complaining, etc. Greed, selfishness, and lack of appreciation can get out of hand if you aren’t prepared.
The kids guessed ahead of time that the theme this year was Lego, and although there are two different Lego advent calendars available this year, I decided to buy the Lego figures/items of my choosing. The doors of our advent house are so small that hardly anything fits in, never mind enough things for FOUR children, so I put only C1′s treat behind the door. (I only fill one day at a time for her, because I would never tempt a one-year-old by filling all the little boxes and expecting her to not open them all, especially since I want to keep it at her level.) C1 doesn’t get Lego, but she does get something special behind each door each day. I hide the Lego baggies for the three older kids in three different rooms, so they can hunt like crazy and will only find their own treat. I was very tricky the first day and C10 and B13 had a very hard time finding their Lego. So much so, that I had to play “Hot” or “Cold” with one of them.
Here is our advent calendar house from last year:
Cara gave me a link to Cinnamon Bear audio stories recorded in 1937! That was when Grampie S. was only six years old! We’ve been listening to the stories during lunch and clean-up and have finished four already. It keeps C10 in the kitchen to clean out the dishwasher, too. She is the biggest fan of audio books although L7 seems to like them, too. C10 thought the children in the stories had whiny voices, but she agreed when I pointed out that the little girl sounded like Shirley Temple.
Here are the Cinnamon Bear audio stories (24 Counting Down to Christmas):
I bought the Michael Bublé Christmas album on iTunes, and although it is nice, I realize I much prefer to listen to conservative talk radio.
I remembered to buy the pre-built gingerbread house this year! Maybe I will buy some more candy decorations at the Bulk Barn if I think of it. The kids could always use more gumballs!
I added the following new things to our Christmas decorations this year: a new ribbon (although I might be sorry because the sparkles seem to fall off too much) for the tree (which we don’t put up until closer to Christmas since we always get a real one), a pink decoration for C10′s pink tree, some blue trim for L7′s blue tree, and for the five Sundays of Advent, I bought new purple and white candles, a stand and greenery. We used our white candle for our Jack’o'Lantern on Hallowe’en.
As I mentioned before, I cut down on gifts this year. I did most of our Christmas shopping online and have purchased everything already. As a Canadian, I had my first experience with Black Friday where I got a few great deals at Amazon.ca and .com.
That’s all folks. Anything else you want to know? Have you come across any nice Christmas ideas that you want to share with me?
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Edited to add:
I started our annual reading aloud of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” tonight.
I am thinking I will get a puzzle with about 1000 pieces for the children to work on during the next few weeks.