There are so many ways to open gifts on Christmas morning. Times of gift giving can be a great opportunity to teach your children about love and gratefulness. It can also be a time to feed greed and a materialistic desire if you are not careful.
In our home we usually hand out Christmas gifts by the “giver”. Each person giving the gifts hands the gift they are giving to the recipient, then they watch them open it. We all take turns doing this. Focusing on the giver, rather than the recipient, aids in teaching the joy of giving. Our children have always loved this and usually delight in watching the gift they are giving be opened.
I was visiting a local store here in my town and found some awesome window clings that are also cute! We purchased some fall themed sets, but they have all seasons and designs!
These are called GelGems, so far I am happy with them. They are a thick gel that clings well to the window. My children have spent a significant period of time arranging and re-arranging leaves and turkeys. The recommended ages are 4+, which I would definitely agree with. My son decapitated a turkey on the first day-he thinks it’s fun to stretch the gels until the tear.
At this point I am definitely happy with my purchase, besides one decapitated turkey they seem to be holding up well.
It is the Christmas season! Some years we exchange gifts, some we don’t . Some years I have a gift exchange or other ladies I want to get a small gift for. If you are looking for some ideas for small gifts, this is one of my favorite kitchen tools that is relatively inexpensive.
It is a manual food processor, the price runs ~$12-20. I use this to chop onions, carrots, peppers, garlic, nuts (does a fine chop), potatoes etc. It does a fine rough chop. I usually peel (if necessary) my vegetable, then cut it into big chunks to fit, put the lid on, pull the handle, and in a matter of seconds it is chopped! There are many manual food processors available. I recommend the pull/spin design as opposed to the “pump” design.
One of our favorite traditions is decorating the Christmas tree, and house, as a family. The day after Thanksgiving we turn on Christmas music, pop popcorn, and pull out all the decorations. It’s quite a party. If you don’t already do this as a family, try it this year. Isn’t it more important to have a great family memory than the perfect looking tree? Try making it special by either cutting down your own tree, or having your children help make special goodies for the “decorating party”. It’s the times together that our children will remember.
Jesus says in John 8: 12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” What better way to talk about how Jesus come to give us light then by lighting candles!
We had an advent wreath one year when we were living in an apartment. We happened to have no Christmas decorations with us, so we made our decorations that year. One of our favorites was the Advent Wreath. The advent wreath we made was a “flame-less wreath”. We used tubes for the candles and stuffed them with tissue paper that we pulled up when the candle was “lit”. We “lit” one candle a week, on Sunday, and each time we read scripture to go with the candle and talked about what the candle represented.
This year I asked my husband to make me a real advent candle, I’m thinking a birch log with holes drilled out for candles–something I will want to keep for years to come. He has assured me this is a fire risk and will not make it; we shall see… This year our advent wreath will accompany our family Christmas devotional we will be reading, Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration.
To get ideas to make your own advent wreath google “advent wreath diy”.
If you have been following along, over the past month I have been sharing several ideas that we do in my home during the Christmas season. I am sharing them early so you can pick what you want to do and get started planning. If you are like anyone else in the world, you know how easy it is to get overwhelmed, ESPECIALLY at Christmas!
There are hoards of recipes, parties, play dates, crafts, family gatherings, traditions etc. to plan, prepare, partake in, and clean up from. It is only a matter of time before you break down crying and start praying for January 2nd. If you are hoping to implement some new spiritually based (or anything else) Christmas traditions this year, don’t go overboard and wear yourself out. Start small. Pick 1 thing this year, next year pick another thing to add on. Before you know it you will have your Christmas traditions whipped into place and look forward to the holiday season!
Spend some time thinking about your traditions, ask your children what they remember about Christmas, ask your husband what is important to him. Our purpose here on earth is to live in relationship, healthy relationships with Christ and with others, sharing Jesus’ love and power. This purpose is the same at Christmas, Easter, and Independence day. If cooking is important to you and your relationships, then great, do it. If not it does not help, but hinder your relationships, if you are trying to have the perfect meal, the perfect gifts, the perfect crafts, the perfect advent, the perfect…. consider why you feel these are important traditions. Do you need to shift your holiday traditions? Do you need to keep it simpler to have time for your real purpose? Traditions should help us teach our children what we consider important. Do your traditions do this?