Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas at Our Home

Christmas was a warm, quiet, and festive time for us this year. We spent the season preparing our hearts with the beautiful stories of Tomie de Paola. Check out Elizabeth Foss' website for a list of books for the little ones to read during the Advent season. Bella and Dave braved the frigid weather and collected the tree which we always enjoy decorating.

A sidenote about the tree. The first year Dave and I were married, he said he was going to put the lights on the tree. A few moments later he told me to come in to see the tree all lit up. How could he have put the lights up so quickly I thought to myself? I come from a long line of perfectionistic tree lighters. Growing up, it was my grandfather who put the lights on the tree each year. It was the most important job in decorating the tree. It required precision, thought, and an electrician - grandpa was the strongest choice. We would all patiently wait for the lights to be done so that we could put the ornaments on. Needless to say, putting the lights on was a process in our home, but it was always respected. Sometimes my dad would try to help my grandfather, but usually an argument ensued. One person did the lights. That was the way it was. When my grandfather passed away, somehow I took over the job of doing the lights, mostly because no one else wanted it. It was then that I learned first hand, just how complicated putting up tree lights can be. FAst foward to our first treelighting as a married couple. When I came in to see the lights Dave just put up, I was devestated. And so the first newlywed argument began! "You just threw them up there. It's supposed to take a long time! They don't even look right!" Since then, Dave, now carefully and very slowly puts on the lights each year making sure to position the lights on each branch level. He respects the art of tree lighting. Or he just wants me off of his case already. Just wanted to record this story for my children.

Anyway, Isabella and John love to go through the Christmas bins of goodies that only come out at this time of year. And a favorite in our home, is the Little People Nativity Set that a good family friend had sent to us last Christmas. It is perfect for little hands and Isabella, especially, loved setting up the Nativity scene over and over again. We also baked one cookie recipe each day in the week leading up to Christmas which left us with a nice assortment for company on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My grandmother wanted to know why the cookies were brown - they were whole wheat of course! Apparently, brown cookies are not appealing enough to bring to senior events. I am ok with that b/c it is just more for me:)

This year, we filled a little homemade crib with cotton balls for each generous and kind deed. On Christmas morning, Bella received her own baby Jesus all snuggled in the soft, cozy crib her good deeds had made for Him. She seemed to like that a lot.

We also painted lots of ornaments and designed crowns for the feast of the Epiphany. Following our Little Saints book lesson, we put stars up around the house which led to the manger. Each star directed an action leading to the next star, until we got to Baby Jesus, such as "Play your drum", "March", "Sing Silent Night". Of course the crowns were worn and royal scarves, I mean robes!

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