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Friday, December 12, 2008

Hands-On Christmas, Friday Addition


Look, before you see any of this, let me just say- Good Night! These pictures are fuzzy. I blame myself. (As if there was anyone else to blame). My camera battery was low, and despite the fact that I had to wait 5 seconds between pictures, and every other one came out indistinguishable...I really wanted to get my picture taking done and did it anyway. And look at these fine images I have to show for it!



And so moving on... Here's a fun thing we added this year- a tree just for our kids! I got this 6' tree at Walmart for $20, and after a little lovin' and shapin', I think it looks great! Especially when it isn't fuzzy! The girls picked colored lights, and we decorated it with lots of fun ornaments. This is where we'll display "their" ornaments- things they make etc. It's a fun little tree.Also, we hung up a few of the ornaments Jim and I had when we were little.I found these handmade ornaments at a thrift store last month- All together there were 10 all for $1.99! They are really sweet- lots of different shapes- animals, candles, angels. All different and detailed. This is also where we keep the gifts- There's not really enough room in our living room for them. Each girl has a stack of gifts like this, from us. All the others are either Advent calendar gifts or are the gifts they are giving to everyone else in the family. How expensive is it for three girls and a boy to get 5 gifts for each person in this 6-person family? Well, it was a grand total of $5 for each kid. Grace and Patie used part of their allowance money, Lily and Hudson mooched off their parents... We separated the kids and took them to Dollar Tree one family night, and everyone picked out gifts for everyone else. It was pretty fun. Then we ate out together and went home and wrapped it all up! How sweet is it to see all those little gifts under the tree!? And it's pretty hilarious to see their best efforts at "keeping secrets". (By the way, I got all those boxes and bags last year after Christmas, so we'd be ready for this year, of course! We try to save as many as possible after the opening is done, to keep from just throwing them away. They're really useful!


Never underestimate the power of controlled amounts of TV for your kids. It means when they do watch it, they really watch it. You can get all kinds of stuff done!
One more thing to mention- two years ago I searched for a very life-like little baby to place under the tree each Christmas morning before everyone wakes up. When our girls come out to open gifts, there's a reminder of the best Gift of all wrapped up for them to gently pick up and hold and imagine what Jesus would have been like as a baby. The doll is actually much more life-like than he looks here! He really does look very real, and feels real, and is even weighted to really seem real. This may be my favorite tradition my kids inspired. I'm actually tearing up just typing this. It's really touched me to see that little baby, after waiting through the whole season to celebrate His birth! It's just a precious reminder or the smallness of a newborn, and the miracle of God contained inside flesh. Just amazing.

25 comments:

Tammy said...

Oh my, that baby does look sooooo real! What a great tradition to start.

every simple day said...

I love that baby doll idea - and since I only have boys it will be a perfect excuse for me to shop for a doll =)

Jenni said...

That doll looks so real, and what a wonderful tradition. You got me thinking of adding it as one of our own as well.

Tova Darling said...

Wrapping a baby under the tree is a great idea!! I might just have to borrow it... :) Thanks for sharing!

anne said...

sheesh...I thought that baby was REAL! I thought it was an old picture...but I LOVE the idea and I'm stealing it...I know you won't mind.
LOVE the pictures...fuzzy and all!

Jenn Boerger said...

Love all of your ideas! When do you start "planning" for Christmas - the things you'll do/make/decorate, etc...?

Anne Elizabeth said...

The baby is such a neat idea! I really like that your kids have their own tree too. Everything looks great. I save as much of my Christmas packaging as I can too!

Tarrah said...

The baby doll idea is sooo wonderful. I'll have to talk to Sam about it but what a wonderful way to focus on Jesus that morning instead of the presents. Thank you for sharing.

Jane said...

When my youngest son was three years old he helped me to build a manger that we STILL put under the tree every Christmas. The idea is to put straw in the manger whenever you do a good deed for someone so that on Christmas the baby Jesus will have a soft place to lay His head. When we were all here, we would draw names but now it's just my 10 year old who makes our bed, picks up the house, loads the dishwasher, and then puts straw in the manager. Our dolls is just a small one I picked up somewhere that we wrap in ripped up cloths just like swaddling. It is my one of my favorite things to do!

Grammy Staffy said...

Thanks for sharing your tree and ornaments with us...how fun. I love the baby under the tree. What a great idea.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Mandy said...

Way, to cool! I'm going to use your wonderful idea. But in a differnt way since we don't put up a tree.

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