Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Preparing for Jesus' Birthday

Joyfully participating in a linky party at
5-days of Christmas Linky[3]
Here is a checklist of what we do to prepare for Christmas Day, the Birthday of Jesus. And we're still a young family, adding new traditions every year!

DECORATIONS:
Right after Thanksgiving, we begin our advent preparation with the usual holiday decorating. Lights up, Christmas Tree out, and other fun decor. This year I gave up the ornament hanging to our kids, who did a wonderful job covering the entire tree, not just the bottom! Ever since I was a little girl, we decorated a ceramic tree with plastic lights that lit up from inside. Now we have our own for our kids to continue that tradition.
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We put out the Nativity Set with Jesus and Wise Men hidden until Christmas and Epiphany. Jesus is put in a red box under a tree near the set with a "Do not open until Christmas" tag. {Make your own Nativity ideas at Equipping Catholic Families}
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ADVENT CALENDAR AND WREATH:
The Advent Calendar changes year to year. But this is our favorite. We made it using neon green poster board, holiday foam stickers, and a moving piece. The Santa (St. Nick) of course was on day 6. Now I just need to find a Nativity Sticker to put at the top in place of the reindeer. Each day they can draw a good deed idea from the bucket and color something from Holy Heroes Advent Adventure.
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The Advent Wreath below is a collector piece I found at a Hallmark store. The children get so excited to light the candles at supper time. I put it on a lazy susan so the kids can get a new view at each meal.
Advent WreathAdvent Wreath

*Click here for a Jesus Tree printable that I found at JesusTreeDecorations.com

SAINT NICHOLAS TRADITIONS:
Stockings are hung for St. Nicholas to come Dec 6th:
100_5545Saint Nicholas Day
Saint Nicholas DayStockings Full
One year we had the kids make their own, which was also fun!
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There is always some place to visit St. Nick to say thanks!
PC060079Visit with St. Nicholas

BAKING & CRAFTS:
Everyone loves a good cookie exchange, or cookie eating frenzy! If you're a health conscious family, but still want the smell of baking in your home... I suggest putting those cookie cutters to making Cinnamon Ornaments  {or this one by Martha Stewart} or Salt Dough Ornaments.
Saint Nicholas Day
And while they bake, it's a perfect time to make other crafts such as snowflake paintings, beaded ornaments, and other winter fun activities. The pictures below are some we made this year using pipe cleaner and berry beads we had in our craft stash. Notice I bent the pipe cleaner to form a nativity scene.
Saint Nicholas DaySaint Nicholas Day

For a snack or meal, we had a great time a few years ago doing the Jesse Tea Party as inspired by Shower of Roses. Each food helps tell a story from the Bible. These were simple to make and fun to eat. I think they even enjoyed the bible stories. Our Meal Plan and Photos Here!
Jesse Tea PartyJesse Tea Party


CHRISTMAS DAY:
Jesus-Birthday-Party
Christmas Day gets filled with Mass and family gatherings. But when we squeeze in time for our little family Christmas, we try to have the following occur…
1. Add Baby Jesus to the nativity set and eat Birthday Cake for Jesus.
2. Opening gifts from under the tree.
3. [Gifts Given to Church Giving Tree a week before.]

OUT AND ABOUT:
Driving every back road to see outdoor lights! (a house we like to visit below)
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Snow play and sledding as soon as the snow decides to fall… :(
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Maybe you've thought about Caroling?
> The 12 Days of Christmas - according to the Bible
> Go caroling at the local nursing home - they love that!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Melissa,

    Your preparation for Jesus Birthday looks so fun for the entire family! Thank you for all of the links!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading about our family. I look forwards to sharing ideas, joys and struggles. God Bless you in your journey!

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