Monday, December 1, 2008

Over the River, Shopping Frenzy and Decking the Halls...Fa La La La La

Our long Thanksgiving weekend has been a blur! Our original plans had been to go "Over the River and Through the Woods" to Grandmother's house, but an early phone call on Thursday morning changed our plans. Grandmother wasn't feeling well...Hope you are better now! The children were disappointed and quickly wanted to know what we were going to do! I turned over for a little more sleep, but plans were formulating in my sleepy brain.

I had dressing and pies in the freezer and various ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving feast on hand, but the turkeys in my freezer would not thaw in time for a dinner on Thursday. Thankfully, Jeff was willing to head out to Kroger for a fresh turkey and ham. While Devin and I worked in the kitchen, Jeff took Jordan, Aaron, Kaelan and Jackson out behind the barn for some shooting practice. Our dinner was complete and we had our fill and were out the door for a family photo shoot before 4:00. Just as it was getting too dark to take more pictures, Lauren and Chase arrived. ( I think Lauren planned it that way!! Her brother-in-law had taken lots of pictures of them earlier in the day...I think I will get a CD of those.)

My mom and her husband arrived later in the evening and we had sandwiches and more pie and fudge! Some of us went to bed early in order to take advantage of Black Friday sales. Lauren, Devin, Caedmon and I left home at 4 a.m. and returned around 10:30. My mom, Kaelan, Lauren, Caedmon and I were back out by noon and returned with a Chinese dinner just after 5. A good break from the turkey and ham!!

My extended family always plays games when we are together. However, I was so tired I went to bed early with Caedmon while some of the others played Rummikub....usually my brother wins, but he wasn't able to come home for Thanksgiving.. This time Jordan won....We may have a new game champion around here.

Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday was spent in decorating. By Sunday evening things were pretty much in order and we were able to sit down to a good dinner and then have our Advent/Jesse Tree devotions.

We have been celebrating Advent for many years. We purchased our Advent wreath at a roadside shop/bakery that was part of John Michael Talbot's monastery in the Ozarks. This has made our Christmas season much more Christ-centered as we reflect on the coming of Jesus every night during our devotions. A few years ago we also added the Jesse tree. We have a 3 foot Christmas tree with lights and small manger scene ornaments. Every day in December we have a devotional and time of singing that tells of Jesus beginning in the Old Testament. We hang an ornament with a picture symbolizing each devotion. The first reading is about the Creation, so the ornament has a picture of the earth.

Resources that we use each year are Jotham's Journey or Bartholomew's Passage by Arnold Ytreeide. These are Advent storybooks that have devotionals at the end of each day's reading. The Advent Jesse Tree by Dean Meador Lambert is used for our Jesse Tree. You can find Jesse tree ornaments and devotionals on the internet. It's not too late if you want to incorporate them in your Christmas traditions.

What are some of your family's favorite Christmas traditions? Leave a comment to let me know!

1 comment:

michelleleigh said...

Hey Anita!
We usually do the Jesse Tree as well. This year it will be ornaments taped to a posterboard tree that we can roll up and take to NY with us! We also each make lists of things we can give (non material things) to others-time together, kind words, patience, etc... We always read from James Dobson's Family Christmas, and The best Christmas pageant ever has become quite a favorite. Last year we baked unleavened bread and had family communion on Christmas Eve for the 1st time-it was really nice. Usually we head to a Christmas eve service, then out to look at lights and home for hot cocoa, then everyone gets to sleep in the living room. We also don't do "santa" so to speak, but we always have the kids choose a family in need (even though we usually fit that category ourselves!) to buy/make/bake some gifts for and then we "Santa" them. We leave the gifts w/o them knowing who or where they came from. This has become something my kids really look forward to. One year it was hilarious as sat in the van after dark, watching Mike drop gifts, ring the doorbell and run down the street as fast as he could!!! Enjoying your blog, but I should be in bed now.

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