Now some of youse are reading that title, cringing and RUNNING back to Seekerville, hands over ears, eyes down, muttering words to Straight No Chaser's "Christmas Can Can" as you go....
Enough is enough, you say! And I respect that, I truly do.
|Finn is already "Scootching" along... No, Finn!!!! STOP!!!|
For those among us who revel in all things Christmas, I bring to you some fun ways to think about extending the season. Why, you ask?
Well, the Biblical telling of Jesus' birth isn't a one-day event, right? We've got a space of time from the Angel Gabriel's appearance to Mary to the twelfth night in early January. On a mother's and grandmother's practical note, this isn't just a reason to party on! That extra time gives us ways to get it all in, enjoy family, food and friends now that the days of Advent waiting are behind us!!!
|Bake a Memory Day 2013, note the CLUTTER behind the scene. :) Kids don't care about clutter...|
They just like to have fun with grownups!!!
We do my family party mid-December. We realized a long time ago that weekends in December vanish into thin air, similar to weekends in June, so we plan accordingly now.... And that helps. We set a date because there is no date that is perfect for everyone, and we run with it. And it's fun!
Christmas Eve: Dave's family
Christmas Day: Our immediate family in town, the ones that don't get a better offer from in-laws!!!! :)
Weekend between Christmas and New Year's: Our family Christmas celebration with all the grandkids and as many of the first generation as possible.
2. Keeping Christ in Christmas:
Ach, a tricky one these days, but doable!!!! We use our Holy Land Advent book and read a story each day while re-hashing the previous stories of Mary and Joseph's travels to Bethlehem....
This year we began a tradition of Mary and Joseph "walking" around the room, moving a little closer to the stable scene each day.... So the kids can "see" the journey unfold before them. And if they're good while we do our Advent stories, a bowl of chocolate candies in bright foil wrappers is their reward!
Hay or yarn in the manger: This is a sweet custom someone shared with me when my own kids were little. I used it in "The Lawman's Holiday Wish" and we use it with our little ones here every year. The manger was cold... clear.... stark..... a hay box isn't exactly the most comfy-cozy of places, so for every good deed a child does during Advent, they get to lay a piece of yarn in the manger. That way, when Jesus is born, his resting spot will be warmed by good deeds!
|The waiting creche....|
And now, the creche with baby Jesus, and the bits of yarn earned by our good deeds:
Services at church: It's so easy to skip church now and again, especially with kids in basketball tournaments, cheerleading tournaments, holiday plays, concerts, fundraisers, etc. but going to church regularly during Advent stirs the anticipation of longing for Christ's birth. Such a simple way to show family the devotion and commitment to the reason for the season!
3. Baking: GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO SKIP THIS IF NEEDED
Life/time are precious commodities and if you find yourself stressed over the lack of cookies, sit down and read Max Lucado's "The Crippled Lamb" and you will then be able to shrug off cookies, watch a holiday classic, and support your local economy by buying a dessert at the bakery. I love baking and I love baking with kids, but full-time-working parents today need to cut themselves some slack: It's not about the cookie, it's about that first gift of Christmas: a child. :) I'm so glad there weren't Pinterest and Facebook perfect mothers back when my kids were little, because I'd have fallen WAY SHORT!!!! There's a reason they make red and green-filled Oreos!!!
We do schedule an annual "Bake a Memory Day" here at Grammy's house each December. We gather the grandkids, make a fun mess of the kitchen and do whatever we can to make a fun baking day filled with cheer... and memories. Nothing is more precious than that memory of baking with someone, standing on that stool, stirring in the flour or the nuts or the chocolate chips....
Making time to do good deeds privately or in the public view. I make sure to schedule bell ringing for the Salvation Army because they're on the streets, helping the homeless, the tired, the wretched every single day while I whine if I run out of coffee.... I'm such a stinkin' baby.
Okay, that's a good beginning of how to stretch the season without killing your wallet! If you have family customs or ideas that make the season less chaotic, share them! I love stealing... I mean incorporating ideas!!!! (BIG GRIN HERE!!!!)
And here's a little bit of fun nonsense that the littlest children L-O-V-E!!!!
Wishing you/us all an ongoing Christmas season filled with love and laughter... and may your visits to the cemeteries of life be filled with joyous memories of forgiveness and grace while taking hold of the life God gives us!
God is good, all the time: And all the time, God is good!