Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hands-On Christmas, Thursday Addition

Here's some more Hands-On ideas we enjoy at our house!

Yesterday I said there were three things we do every morning in December. The first is the Adornaments, which you saw yesterday, and next we read through this book, 'Twas the Night Before Christ, which is a poem about Jesus' birth, set to the rhyme of, you guessed it, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. It isn't as long, though! I have it memorized- I could type it all out for you right now! I'm not sure if you can find it online, it was done locally to support a nonprofit. I got this play nativity set three years ago at WalMart, and got the book the year following. The first year I had the set, we just took out the pieces and I told the story and we added the pieces in as it went. Now we read the book and each girl has people that she adds in along with the story. It's a big hit, and even our smallest kids have memorized the Christmas story.

One thing I just can't fail to point out- this always makes me chuckle- See the holy family? One of these things is not like the of these things just isn't the same... The only one of the three who's actually Deity, and no halo. Nice. You may think mine is just a fluke, but no, the picture on the box proves the same. Baby Jesus has the thick and lush hair of Absalom, or a Norwegian, but no halo. I digress.

Last in our morning routine, which again only takes about 15 minutes, and is highly enjoyed by everyone, is a stop at the Advent Calendar, where we mark the days to the Big Event. It's on the highest shelf for a reason, folks. The days alternate between candies and every few days the box is empty, and then the girls rush under the tree to find a gift with that day's date on it- and open it to find a special little gift for each one- emphasis on little- like, this year most of their gifts were beanie babies and the like from a local thrift store, and a couple of things came from the one spot at Target- never more than a dollar or so per gift! It's such a big deal, though!

This is such a fun tradition- it makes a big impact on the excitement of waiting for Christmas! Even Lily, who is now 2 1/2 and was 18 months old last Christmas, vividly remembered what it was- when I removed it from it's box, she instantly said, "Mommy!!! Can we open the doors and eat the candy?!?!" Wow- that's impressive!

I love our little traditions- it's fun to come back to the same things year after year as a family, they really do anchor us as we grow and change! Even after that play nativity is officially for "little kids" the memories will be there, and the tradition will evolve into something new and meaningful to all of us over the years!


Ris said...

Yep that is our same advent calendar! Love the packages under the tree idea, so stealing that!!! We always read the first of Luke on Christmas eve as a family. Did it when I was growing up and we keep the tradition going. Great ideas! Ps the Absolam joke made me LOL

Anne Elizabeth said...

That play Nativity set is so neat!!!! I want to get something like that to do with my kids next year.

Anne Elizabeth said...

That play Nativity set is so neat!!!! I want to get something like that to do with my kids next year.

kelly said...

Oooh, I reallly like that soft Nativity! The girls broke our play one last year. Yes, the one that was not supposed to be able to break.

A Crafty Mom said...

CUTE nativity set - I really like it! Mary and Joseph are way cuter than in our set!! The advent calendar is big here too . . . we got a hand-made one at church and the boys are cutting and gluing the days on each morning. Of course I have a candy one too, b/c they also look very forward to that!!

This morning I got "did Jesus love chocolate too, Mommy?" . . . and I was stunned for a minute and didn't know how to answer!!

Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

love your advent calendar...i looked at several this year but the price is not quite right yet. maybe an after christmas sale... ;-)

i have a giveaway that ends tomorrow...come on over!

Lisa said...

Love you advent ideas, Megan! We have the Fisher Price nativity and the girls both love to play with it as well!!!