Well, it’s after Thanksgiving. Which means that I can start thinking about Christmas…which I love! The time with family, gift giving, gingerbread and peppermint, Christmas trees and holiday decorations, cookie baking. And this year is so special with celebrating with Emily for the first time! I’m so excited!
Emily in her Christmas dress
But I’m sort of stressing about what traditions to start (I know that she’s only going to be 9 months old and too young to remember, but still). Logan and I really want to keep the holiday Christ-centered, celebrating family, and focused on giving.
Here’s what we’ve come up with so far…
Of course we’ll decorate the Christmas tree, make cookies, and go gift shopping.
Advent Ornaments (idea from KoJo Designs): Last night, Logan and I went through the list at Blue Letter Bible of the different references of Jesus. We made a list of our favorite 25 with one or two Scripture references. We’ll read one each night during December. I bought ornaments last year after Christmas for this project, so I’ll start working on that soon!
Jesse Tree: My goal is to collect 25 ornaments that relate to stories in the Bible, and we’ll read one each night after we do the Scripture reading with the names of Jesus. The Voice: Christian Resource Institute has a great summary of the reasons behind the Jesse Tree and the traditional stories/symbols that go with it. I’m going to do a variation on this and choose some of our favorite stories and use Emily’s Jesus Storybook Bible to make connections to Jesus. But right now I only have 10 ornaments. Good thing I have time before she remembers!
I’m thinking about making a book that has the readings for each day. One that we could use every year. And I’m trying to figure out if these will go on their own separate tree or not.
Pajamas: Emily will get to open a present on Christmas Eve that has a new pair of pajamas for her to wear that night. I got this idea from someone on Pinterest, but for the last two years, a friend has hired me to make pajamas for all the cousins for Christmas morning. One year it was Colts and one IU. How cute must that be!
Christmas Stockings: In the next few weeks I’m going to make our stockings (tutorial to come :-). I know they’re going to be from old sweaters, and I saw this great idea of attaching the first initial to each one from Cottage Instincts. I thought I would have Emily decorate new letters for us each year. To do: find nontoxic paint for her to have her first painting adventure!
What traditions does your family have?