Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Traditions: Now and Then

Each year we decorate our home for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend due to family travel. On Saturday, Thom began sorting through our decorations and strung lights on the trees outside. The weather was very mild and we headed out to the Franklin Christmas parade. After the parade we stopped in Sweet CeCees for yogurt before browsing the shops on Main Street.

Last night before bedtime, we introduced the kids to a new tradition, the Jesse Tree. During Thanksgiving, I was scrambling for an advent devotion to do with our children. I had given some thought to it earlier, but let it fall to the bottom of the "to do list." But as I watched the kids look through the "Black Friday" ads and become somewhat overwhelmed with "stuff," I desired to have something to help us focus on Christ each day. Thankfully I ran across the idea for the Jesse Tree on another adoptive mom's blog. We are a week behind, but are enjoying this time together. (And it helps David keep track of "how many more days until Christmas!)

After church today, we decorated our Christmas tree. As we hung ornaments on the tree, we talked about Christmas "now and then."

Though we did have a brief discussion about how Christmas is different now for children compared to the past, we mostly talked about Christmas traditions "then": when our adoptive child(ren) come home. Our discussion began when we hung stockings on the mantle and one of us noted we will have to buy new stockings when our family grows. We briefly debated whether we would buy new ones, but decided we will keep the ones we have for our children and Thom and I will add new ones for us.

For now, we have a small nativity I purchased in Uganda this summer. It sits in the center of our mantle.

 Throughout our decorating, we talked about our adoption, especially with Katie, who really "gets it." We wondered if our child(ren) will be with us this time next year or if we will still be waiting. We thought about ornaments we will add while we wait. We pondered about how we will introduce/explain Western traditions of Christmas, especially the "guy in the red suit," and changes we will choose to make. What a special time with our children!

After decorating the tree, we moved on to David's favorite Christmas activity: decorating cookies. He is serious about decorating and has been since he was 3! We had a lot of fun together!

The finished products

So thankful for time to make and cherish our family traditions!

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