Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Traditions

I am having a rough day. I'm going to pretend that I'm not though and go ahead and post what I had planned on posting about today. I'm just really struggling with Luke. Many of you know the issues we've been having but his behavior has me stressing out big time too. Everything is a struggle right now. I'm praying.. praying.. and praying some more. I know that we have to establish discipline and correction NOW but it is so hard! I'll talk more about this later though.... I'm hoping that blogging about Christmas will get me out of this yucky mood!

Last week I played along with The Preacher's Wife Christmas Blog Party. I didn't play along with the first week which was about Christmas Traditions. So, I thought I'd share a few old and new ones with you.

1. Christmas Pajamas. For as long as I can remember my mom and dad have given me and my sister Christmas PJ's on the night of Christmas Eve. Even after the Hubs and I got married we headed over to my mom and dad's Christmas Eve night to open our PJ's.. the Hubs included!! My mom and dad even get some now! Then we all go put them on and just hang out in our new PJ's! Now the tradition continues with my boys. This year my sister comes home on Christmas Eve night so it will just be the four of us opening our PJ's at home since mom and dad will be going to the airport! I know this is a tradition that will continue for many, many generations!

2. Christmas Day. When the Hubs and I got married we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (and much of the weekends surrounding) hopping from one family members home to the other. When we started a family we knew that we wanted to start some of our own traditions. One thing that I definitely wanted was for us all to be home on Christmas morning. I just didn't want all of that rushing around. So, since Luke's first Christmas we've hosted a brunch with all of the grandparents and great grandparents invited. We keep things really simple. I always make this eggnog coffee cake (btw, I do not like eggnog! My hubby loves the stuff so I found this recipe for him and it's actually really good). I usually make something like sausage balls or pigs and a blanket to go with it. And then ask everyone else to add to the spread. We usually stay in our PJ's and just enjoy the time together and the kids get to play with their toys. After we eat someone reads the Christmas story out of Luke 2. I plan on this year having a birthday cake for Jesus. I actually wanted to start this last year (in years past Luke just hasn't been old enough to understand the concept of Jesus' birthday) but last year was a mess. So, it just didn't happen.

3. Presents. Last year was ridiculous at the presents my children got. The hubs had just gotten fired and my parents just went overboard. I'm thankful, very thankful. But looking back it was just out of control. Maybe they were trying to compensate for all that we had been through the previous two weeks. So, we talked this year and the Hubs and I agreed on three gifts each for the boys and one big gift for them together from Santa (I may blog about him later.. but until this go here and read this and this after you finish here of course! .. it shares a lot of my feelings on the subject..). Jesus received three gifts.. so why not just stick with that number? We also asked the grandparents (3 sets) to only give the boys one gift each. Just in case your worried, that is still SIX gifts each.. TWELVE total. That's a lot. More than enough. I was talking to some friends of mine about this and they said they wanted to know how that came out (thinking that it was not going to work!! Ha). Well, they were partly right.. because the grandparents are sneaking in gifts. Just this week Luke and Eli both got 'just because' gifts from each set of grandparents. So, I am on to you.. I know exactly what you're doing! Next year we'll just make the rule one gift for the whole month of December. ;) Sigh.. believe you me, I would give them everything they wanted if I could and knew it wouldn't ruin them. But there is better use of money.. and in the end it is the best for them. We truly desire for God to be glorified in our family and what we teach our children about 'stuff' is a huge part of that. I would like to say THANK YOU to our Santa's though. We could not do it without you. We are truly blessed.

4. Something new. This year we are doing something new on Christmas Day as a family. While reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan the fabulous group of ladies I was doing the study with began thinking of something radical we could do to put what we had read to action. If we're going to live what we read.. if we desire to be biblical believers then let's start living like it. So, many of the ladies who were a part of that study are going to be serving lunch and providing dessert, along with their families, at the Salvation Army on Christmas Day. I have a feeling this is going to be a new family tradition! We also plan on serving with the Salvation Army in the future. Our pastor spoke with someone there and said that they have no church involvement/volunteer work at all. And while the Salvation Army is considered a church in itself, they have a great need for volunteers to partner with them to help them meet the needs (both physical and spiritual) of those in our community. Christmas Day is a busy day for most. We have obligations.. family to visit... gifts to open. I think each one of us has a deep desire to honor Christ and what better way than to serve others on the day we celebrate His birth. May He be glorified. Matthew 25:40 - And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

Well, it's time to do some laundry.. my mind is brewing so I'm sure I'll be back with something soon.


Jessica said...

First up I wanted to say I am sorry that you are struggling right now. I will be praying for you.

Your traditions sound so much like ours.
I love Christmas pj's especially when you get to stay in them all day =)
We do the brunch too and I love it. I love that everyone is close enough to come means so much to me and I hope that one day the kids will be able to appreciate it too.
And the I was one of those who said "let me know how that goes" I understand is so hard to find the right balance. Like you we are truely grateful for our Santa's but more than anything we want Christ to be glorified. Ah it is difficult =)
I can not wait to hear about serving at the Salvation Army. We will not be able to make it this year (which I am so sad about) but I am so excited to hear about the experience. Thank you for your willingness to serve!

Anonymous said...

Sorry you're having a rough time. I pray things get better for you.

I enjoyed reading about your traditions. It seems everybody does the Christmas pajamas and I have always thought it was a great idea, but I've still never done it. Maybe next year.

I also like your idea of three gifts like Jesus got. We actually did buy our kids three things each (from Santa) this year, but it was an accident. It was all about what fit into the budget. I only wish I had more spiritual intentions. ;-)

I just wanted to say thank you for stopping by the domestic fringe last week and leaving a nice comment about my Phyllis Diller tree.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!