With Thanksgiving just three days away, I've been thinking a lot lately about...
I wasn't always this way. When I was younger, I was vehemently opposed to any hint of Christmas before at least December 1st! So it was completely out of character for me when, on our way home from my Aunt's house one Thanksgiving a few years ago, I turned to Darren and said, "Hey! I have a great idea! Why don't we decorate our Christmas tree when we get home?"
He was incredulous, but quickly warmed to the idea. It was such a nice, relaxing way to spend the afternoon, and our tree that year was so beautiful. We decided then that every year, following Thanksgiving dinner, we would get out the tree and take our time decorating it. And that's exactly what we've done. We listen to Christmas carols, sip egg nog and hot cocoa, and once it's dark, we light a fire and plug in the lights. It's such a peaceful, beautiful way to conclude such a special day.
We'll carry on the tradition this year, but I'm also excited about incorporating some other ideas I've had this year. It has been my concern in years past that, despite our best effort to focus with our children on the birth of baby Jesus, they still get wrapped up (as we all often do) in the commercialism of the season. So one idea I've had is to display our nativity set under the Christmas tree as a reminder that we are not awaiting material gifts but the birth of Jesus. Then, on Christmas morning, we'll place the infant Jesus with Mary and Joseph and sing "Happy Birthday" to Him, as we always do, before blowing out the candles on the birthday cake the kids help me make for Him every Christmas Eve.
I was also inspired this morning by Alice, who, borrowing an idea from Rebecca, created this beautiful Advent Log. What a wonderful idea! I'm hoping that Darren and I will be able to fashion one of our own.
If you don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear about any traditions or ideas that you all have! How do you keep the true spirit of the season alive in your own homes?