Friday, September 21, 2012

Christmas Countdown

(94 now :)

About a month or more ago a friend texted me asking if I had started Christmas preparations and what was I doing this year

Christmas? I was just recovering from two birthday parties!

She said she asked herself.. I want to be like Bobbie this year.

Ha Ha that had me blushing. Then I felt bad cause this girl was doing nothing!

{Coincidently My neighbour who is not computer minded was struggling with her daughters Cat costume for Book week. She said I asked myself "What would Bobbie do? - She'd google it!"  LOL she knows me! and subsequently found a great cat mask and printed it off! }

On a facebook group this week someone asked about Christmas traditions that involved service for little kids. My long winded answer(s) got me all excited about planning out what I want to do this year!

The next day a dear friend asked on facebook what were my Christmas Day Traditions.

Today I was asked to contribute to a Christmas Midnight Madness Craft night...

I feel like a regular Mrs Claus! The Pressure! And don't have just have the most darling friends!

If you know me I've never had an original thought in my life

I'm all about copying.

Which is why I like to share what I've found to do

I shared a few ideas for service but ended coming to the conclusion that the easiest way is to take a Christmas tradition you already love { baking cookies, Christmas Dinner, watching Christmas lights etc} and find a way to share it with a neighbour, friend or stranger or incorporate others into your activity. Why haven't I thought of that before!! It got my mind whirring on our favourite christmas traditions - I'm listing them here so I have them all in one place and thinking up a twist for service including them. Click on the links to see the photos and how to's.

Christmas Books      see here and  here
I love collecting Christmas Books and reading them each night the month of December. They are about the only books I buy. I've been a bit disappointed with the Christmas books on offer at the shops I frequent {aussie christmas with santa drinking beer, to babyish, same titles every year etc} and sad when I read about beautiful books available in other countries. So I just did my first online book order and ordered some of the ones I've seen mentioned around the internet. I'm so excited.

As we love this tradition it would be easy for us to share it with another. Pick up a few extra books to give another family. My girls would love to be part of a service like that. We have one book that was gifted us by friends who now live overseas far away. Each year the girls ask me to read out the inscription and ask all about that friend (who is now becoming hazy to their memory) it is so sweet and I would love for another family to enjoy and think fondly of us :)

Christmas Pillowcases    see here and here
Each year we make a (4) new Christmas Pillowcases for 'sweet Christmas dreams' the month of December. A few of my kids friends have commented they would like on too. It would be simple to make another to gift.

Jesus Ornaments  see here
A few years ago I noticed a distinct lack of religiousity in my tree decorations. We make little laminated ornaments using pictures of Christ from old ensigns and catalogues with a scripture included on the back. There is no excuse for me not to start now in making many of these to give away attached to treats and presents and for just because.

Grandparents Christmas Dinner  see here  here  here and here
One of our most favourite Christmas Traditions. A Christmas Dinner with the works for our parents (grandparents) a week or more before Christmas Day. A little bit of effort but so fun. I wonder if I could organize something similar to do for a friend or stranger to invite them along to.

Sleeping under the Tree
Once school is out we have a night where we sleep under the Christmas tree, under the twinkling fairy lights. Originally it started out as just the kids but the last 3/4 years us parents have joined in too. We grab all the mattresses and pillows and make the lounge room wall to wall beds and watch a movie and play games and have fun lazing around together.

Donating to a Charity
Each year we donate to charity of some sort. We've collected items for homeless shelters, shoebox appeal for children overseas, made food baskets to deliver ourselves and done pixie drops. It can be hard to find a way to incorporate little children in service projects. I usually take my kids with me to the shops to  pick out the items that will be donated.

Christmas Movies
Over the years I've slowly been collecting Christmas movies. With a projector it would be so fun to organize an outdoor Christmas movie night (if only the sun didnt set so late!) invite the neighbourhood, friends etc to our backyard

Christmas Pyjamas   see here and  here
Every Christmas Eve the children receive a new set of PJs. Its a fun tradition. You know what the present is, but nice to sleep in new PJ's and for photos christmas morn.
There are several charities that collect Pajama's for children in hospital or those taken into Child Protection. I think it would be a great idea to show the kids an extra set of PJ for charity or have them choose a pair to donate The Pyjama Foundation

Nativity    see here and here
December 1st is the day for 'putting out the nativity sets in our house. We put them up before the Tree (first monday night in December) to remember the true meaning of the season first.  I love Nativity sets and have to stop myself from buying more. Not many shops sell them so when they do I feel a need to buy and show support that YES! we want these sold in stores. Now I pick up a small and reasonably priced set to give to another. One year I gave one to single woman who had not a single decoration. She really loved the Nativity set.

Oh How I wish our family could sing! {we could carry speakers around and just play music right?} Carolling is awesome. One year a bunch of young adults from church carolled outside my house. My elderly neighbour came out and said to me later how beautiful it was, that people just don't do things like that anymore. It is such a touching gesture. I'm going to have to figure out a way to make this happen {invite lots of awesome singing friends to sing with us so we can hide in the crowd }

Advent   see here here
This is still a big work in progress with small children and with a busy calendar but I try to celebrate Advent (the four sundays leading up to christmas) with our candle ring, a scripture and spiritual lesson and music. Including others in this would be very easy.

Personalized Christmas Ornaments   see  here  here   here here
Each year I like to attempt to make personalize ornaments. We've got a few now. Organize a day to do it with other mum's

Christmas Card Movie   see  here here here
I think we've made about 5 Christmas movies so far. Each year I look forward to coming up with a simple idea and turning it into a little Christmas Family Movie. They are really nice to look back on and the girls love to watch them.

Pinatas   see here  here
It isn't a party without a pinata right!? A pinata is instant fun and anyone would love to receive a Christmas Pinata. I'm thinking Christmas Tree shape this year. (or star or stocking shape - so many possibilities!)

Advent Calendars   see here  here  here  here
We have paper ones, cloth ones and make a disposable one each year. Love Advent Calendars Would be a perfect gift to make another family to gift in November (get the gift giving in early!) There are so many types - ones with lollies, ones with activities to do as a family, ones with scriptures.

Gingerbread Houses  see here  here  here
It's getting a little out of control now I have 3 kids at school, but each year we make gingerbread houses to share at school. If I can get organized enough I think making a gingerbread house to gift to another family would be a lovely idea. Dropping one off anonymously would be so fun.

What are your favourite traditions that could be turned into a service?

New traditions I haven't done before but I am going to make goals to achieve this year

See a performance of Handel's Messiah (booked the tickets!!)
Take the children to see a Christmas Play/Ballet
Do a Jesse Tree
Have a Street Party and invite everyone in the street to meet and greet
Have a yule log
Make an awesome advent calendar
Be better at sitting quietly and contemplating the season each night and holding nightly advent
Have my children practice Christmas Songs on their instruments so we can have a singalong

As of next week it will be 12 weeks till Christmas.
I know I easily have 12 things on my to do list.
One a week.
Time to get cracking!

What are your Christmas Traditions? Do share!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you want two great Christmas books go to "On the Albert Montana Border" in my side bar and order Carving Angels and St Nicks Magic from Diane. Fabulous stories.

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