Somehow when I was away in Florida, Christmas came to my town. It seems like everyone already has their lights up, trees decorated, and presents wrapped and to be honest it makes me stressed. I love Christmas, it’s the happiest time of year, but it stresses me out. I don’t want to be stressed out. I think I stress out because I think about all that is “expected” of me during the season. Send out beautiful Christmas cards [we are doing thanksgiving cards! time to be thankful!], have all my gifts wrapped already, shop for the perfect gifts for family, teachers, neighbors, schedule holiday parties, and get the perfect outfit for Christmas Eve church. Anyone else stressed by those thoughts?
My house is still all “fall”, and until today I hadn’t really thought about Christmas gifts, traditions, decorating, etc. I know it’s not my kids first Christmas, but I feel like it’s the first Christmas that they will have some sort of idea what’s going on. Maybe the pressure of doing what’s “expected” makes me nervous I’m going to mess it all up for my kids. As we’ve been talking to them about Christmas the past few weeks, all we say is “it’s Jesus birthday!” We want Jesus to remain the REASON for this fabulous season. Not that gifts or Santa or bad, and not that we aren’t going to participate in those, but I don’t want it to be the focus.
So this cozy Saturday morning, I sat on the couch with my laptop during nap time and started planning. I want the traditions we start with our kids this year to be meaningful and I want them to remember them. We love traditions, and we both have traditions that we do with our families of origin and some we’ve started in our little family pre-kids. I want our kids to have and remember those things even from their early years. A wise friend of mine, Jenna, told me to not put too much pressure on myself to “start 10 traditions the first year”. She so wisely said that learning to be a mom, is sorta like learning to be a wife. At first, you don’t really know what you are doing and over time you start to get better. So I’m collecting ideas, and gonna start praying about what I feel like God calling us to do this Christmas season.
Here are a few things on my mind and heart:
1. Advent Calendar – I love the idea of having a scripture to read each day of the advent season. will be fun to hang this up on the fireplace or in the kitchen where we could see it everyday and keep our focus on the reason we are celebrating. I ordered this one from Naptime Diaries. and I love what she says,
“however you celebrate advent, remember not to get hung up on the plans or the pressure to make it perfect. Advent is about making room and taking the time to acknowledge the amazing miracle and rescue of Jesus’ birth”
2. A birthday cake for Jesus- a sweet friend of mine gave me this book and after reading through it today, I can’t wait to start this tradition with our family and see how else we feel led to use it through the years! It’s geared towards children, and I think will be a fabulous way to explain to children why we celebrate Christmas, with Jesus’ birth! You can find that here. [seems their site is down today]
3. Christmas Angel – Jenna did this last year with her kids [she blogged about it here] and I loved watching/hearing about all the things they did to bless others during the advent season. It has a similar set up to Elf on the Shelf, but the angel gives you something to do each day to bless someone else! I knew it was something I wanted to do with my kids, so we are going for it this year! I ordered it today and will start December 1st!
“Have you ever desired a fun family tradition that
is centered around the true meaning of Christmas?
Do you aspire to teach your children about the joy of giving to others? The Christmas Angel Storybook Set is a great addition to your family’s Christmas traditions!”
Ok so I went all crazy and ordered the Christmas Angel & Advent calendar! and I feel that much more in the “christmas spirit”! I don’t want to stress out about gifts, and outfits, and parties. I first want to focus on my heart on Jesus, and the true reason of the season.
What about you? What do you and your family do to get ready for Christmas? I’d love to hear!