Christmas Ideas

A week or so ago I sat down with Paul to talk about the upcoming Christmas season. We decided on a few things that were important to us and hopefully we'll stay focused and have a memorable and peaceful holiday season. I've written them down in my Household notebook. It is nice having talked about it together and having the ideas written down.

I received December's Southern Living yesterday and it had a similar idea - pick three key words and write them down in a public place. Then when you have the opportunity to do something use those three 'ideals' to help you determine whether you should do it or not.

Our Ideal Christmas List -as it's labeled in my notebook- is:
  • peaceful
  • spent at home
  • having family and friends over
  • a lot of baking/cooking
  • creating lasting memories/traditions
As you can see it's a simple list, but it is also a very focused list for us. From that list I made a much more detailed list of activity ideas that match our Ideal list. Ideas on that list include:
  • Bake Gingerbread men
  • Read Christmas books in front of the fireplace
  • Play games in front of the fireplace
  • Put up the Christmas tree together
  • Go for a drive to look at Christmas lights
  • Eat popcorn and hot chocolate for dinner
  • Make a Christmas craft
  • Read the Christmas story
  • Make a Gingerbread house from cardboard boxes
  • Watch a movie (on the laptop) in the back of our car
  • Make 'snowmen floats' (peppermint ice cream and ginger ale)
I have set up two baskets under our Christmas tree.
The one in the top picture holds activity supplies. I thought it would be much more likely that we'll do activities if the supplies are already put together. It's obviously not holding everything we would need, however it has some fun items already, such as:
  • Nutcracker 'dolls' for when I read them that story
  • Marshmallows for the hot chocolate
  • A coloring book of the Christmas story 
  • A few different craft items

    The second basket holds all of our Christmas/winter related books - I have been scouring our local thrift store for more books to add to the collection. Most of these books have come from there. The boys favorite is a pop-up book of the angels announcing to the shepherds the birth of Jesus Christ - they love pop-up books!
    The I Spy book came from some friends and Judah is the perfect age for that book now, and it's a favorite too!

I had wanted to do a Jesse Tree this year, but I don't think we will. Instead we will just use our nativity sets to tell them the story of Christ's birth over and over again throughout the month. This morning I let them play with one of the sets - after I had told them the account of Jesus' birth, using the characters to act out the story.
While Judah was playing he said to me;
"Mommy, this wisemen is hungry. I think he wants to eat this sheep."
And then he proceeded to act out the wiseman eating the sheep.

I'd never thought of it before, but I suppose they probably did eat the sheep =)


The Activity Mom said...

Love both ideas! I really like how you guys sat down and made a list of what is important to stay focused. I think we should do that too! =)

Jessica said...

Gosh, Jessica....this is a great idea. I really believe that we have to be intentional about things like this, because otherwise life just happens - it slips by without us realizing it - and we've never done the things we meant to do. This is an inspiration for me and our family. Thanks!

Kristin said...

We're also trying to be intentional about our Christmas plans. Last month I wrote up an Advent calendar with readings and activities for every day of Advent. The calendar is really just a goal...I don't think we'll necessarily be able to do everything that I planned. We will definitely do the readings (started last night, the first Sunday of Advent).

Some of my plans are baking projects with Helen. Some are family movie nights. One night I want to talk about the wisemen following the star and then go out stargazing. This year Helen is really starting to understand the Christmas story and I really want to emphasize Jesus. She gets loads of presents and I really want to help her understand that the presents aren't what the celebration is about.

eder4jesus said...

(*_*) Oh, how love these ideas. (*_^) Thanks for sharing!

TammyIsBlessed said...

Can I add your post to my blog hop? Or you can do it yourself. I'd love that!

ashleigh said...

Awesome ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

Great idea! I keep my books together like that but never thought to gather up all the others. Great to know that you have it all before you start.

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