Wednesday, November 30

Christmas Decorating 2011

'Black Friday' was anything but that for us this year. Actually we haven't even participated in the up before dawn festivities. There has never been anything that I want or 'needed' that badly. And I hope there never is!

Our Friday following Thanksgiving was, in my opinion, much more enjoyable! My mama was here and I wanted her to be a part of our setting up and decorating for Christmas. Holidays have been hard for her with both of her parents passing away in recent years and she is an only child. I'm so glad that she has our kids to give her things to look forward to! They are her future. :)

We set up our tree, village and Nativity scene and pondered what traditions we would like to start with our family. I always remembered doing an advent calendar when I was growing up. Maybe you know the kind, that has the doors for each day and you have to find the right one for that day. Behind each door was a piece of chocolate! Every kids dream. I wanted to do an advent calendar with my littles but I wanted it to have a little more to it.

We also, when I was growing up, would do a different activity with the my mom that had to do with the Christmas season. Nothing crazy, just simple and a way to savor the holiday each day! I like that idea and wanted to do that with my littles. So I did what any 2011-itching-to-craft mama would do and searched through Pinterest for ideas of a calendar I could make for our family to use this year and in years to come!

I settled on this one:

{Photo and idea credit here}

And after adding my own twists and ideas into the pattern here's how it turned out:

I used burlap instead of linen and I love the effect it turned out to have!

Once I had the holder I needed to figure out how to fill it. I came across this advent calendar and activity set for little ones and can't wait to use it with the littles!

Click here to buy it for yourself!

It comes with a little word/picture card for each day's activity and scripture reading. Each day has a scripture reading and an ornament to make that goes along with that part of the Christmas story. After going through the whole calendar we will have read and talked about the Christmas story of Jesus' birth! I also alternated a chocolate kiss or candy cane in each day. :) 

There are also a few traditional {and a few new ones} activities that I wanted to include so I made my own cards for those and put them on the days I think they will work best for us. For example, driving around to see Christmas light displays, Zoolights, making goodies for gifts, writing a letter to our Compassion International child, and having a birthday party for Jesus!

Tomorrow is our fist day of our advent calendar and I can't wait to dive in with my littles!!

We also started a new tradition this year with our Nativity scene. Growing up we always kept baby Jesus out of the manger until Christmas morning! I got an idea from here {love this blog btw!} that we are going to start doing each year:

We wrapped baby Jesus in wrapping paper {I debated poking wholes for his nose so he could still breathe} and we'll open Him as our first and most important gift on Christmas day! 

Little Lady helped me wrap Him up and reminds me He's there everyday. What joy! 

Friday evening hubby and I left the littles with their Nana for some quality time and we went out to have some of our own. After a lovely dinner together we headed over to a local Christmas shop that is very popular locally because they have anything and everything imaginable for Christmastime! We picked out our family ornament and one for each of the littles, another tradition we plan to carry out each year. Here is our family ornament this year:

It's SO perfect and displays our family just way we see it, minus the baby bump of course!

And I just had to share my thrift store find from yesterday, as it makes an adorable addition to our Christmas decor!

I have been wanting and looking for a child's wooden rocking chair forever it feels like. And I finally found one yesterday for $10!! And the littles both love it as much as I do! Little Lady's feet don't even touch the ground yet so I know we will get many years of use out of it. I hope to pass it on to their littles some day too!

What are some of your Christmas traditions, old and new?!

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