Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Is Coming

It snowed today. For about ten seconds it really truly snowed, not just little flurries, but snow that I could see
coming down. Big fluffy white flakes filling the sky. And then it was gone just as it had appeared. Vanished.

Specs and I were driving to his speech therapy session when we saw the snow. It was magical and miraculous and made me so happy that I actually shouted "It's snowing!". How exciting!

That short ten seconds of snow did more to put me in the Christmas spirit than anything else has so far this season. A little later in the day, Specs and I took our dog, Freeno out for a walk. It was cold. We didn't go far, but we decided that we definitely needed some hot chocolate when we got back to our place.
View from my mother-in-law's living room last Christmas.

I got to thinking, December starts the day after tomorrow. It is only one month a year. We need to make a plan and make the best of it. I do not want to miss one memory--one magical moment with my family.

Here are some of the must-do things for December I've come up with so far:

1. Listen to lots of Christmas music. Right now I am enjoying the She & Him Christmas CD that our friends brought us on Thanksgiving. Pandora also has some fun Christmas stations and I don't think you can ever go wrong with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas CDs.
2. Watch Christmas movies with my family. Our favorites: A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, Elf, Holiday Inn, The Bishop's Wife, Little Women, While You Were Sleeping and Home Alone. Eat popcorn and snuggle up in blankets.
3. Make gingerbread men and decorate them. Use THIS recipe that my mom always used growing up.
4. Read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I already downloaded it for my kindle for free HERE.
5. Go pick out a Christmas tree with the family.
 6. Decorate the Christmas tree.
7. Drink lots and lots of hot chocolate. With whipped cream.
8. Make pomanders with oranges and cloves with my kids.
 9. Make and deliver cookies, candies and treats for our friends and neighbors.
10. Read Christmas picture books to my kids every night.
11. Light candles. Decorate the house with fresh greenery.

12. Send Christmas cards.
13. Write letters to Santa with my kids.
14. Wrap presents.
15. Visit with Santa Claus.
16. Read one of the four gospels as a family.
 17. Watch the First Presidency Christmas devotional, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert and go to our church's Christmas choir concert.
18. I'd love to go Christmas caroling. I might have to see about getting a group of friend together to do it.
19. Make Christmas presents with the kids for their grandparents.
20. Have a game night.
21. Have a special Christmas Family Home Evening.

22. Drive around and look at Christmas lights with the family.
23. Have our traditional "Shepherds' Dinner" on Christmas Eve.
24. Read Luke 2 and A Visit from St. Nicholas on Christmas Eve.

What else do I need to add to the list? Keep in mind that we don't typically get snow here in the south so building a snowman, sledding and other past traditions that I have loved through the years are kind of out of the running for my family while we live here.

What are your favorite Christmas/holiday traditions?


Wes Carter said...

Beautiful blog!

Danielle Nolan said...

That picture of your in-laws' house made me teary -- it totally reminded me of my grandparents' house at Christmas time with the tree in front of the bay window!

We've got a lot of the same things planned, but are also doing the following:

Backwards dinner (eat dessert first!)
Buy and drop off a toy or two for Toys for Tots
2 "service" projects (delivering a nativity set one piece at a time, and giving someone a "heart attack")
Make a Christmas video (Jillian's latest obsession is making videos :)

Happy last day of November -- I can't wait to start celebrating! :)

Predilections said...

I love the idea of delivering one piece of a nativity a day. How do you go about it? Just stand the shepherd or Mary or whoever on the doorstep, ring the bell and run? Or what? Anyway, I love it. We may have to do that one ourselves.

Danielle Nolan said...

Yep -- basically "Ding Dong Ditch" the pieces. We've never done it before, but I thought we'd wrap each in a tiny box and leave it on the doorstep, or in a gift bag on the doorknob. We'll probably do 12 days or so and end up leaving the Christ child on Christmas Eve or the night before!

Kylie said...

My personal tradition is reading Christmas stories by the soft mingled glow of christmas lights and our fireplace. There is nothing in the world that feels quite like it.
As for family traditions the best day are on Christmas Eve - First we make dozens of gooey marshmellow brownies and then go caroling to all our friends and neighbors. This is followed by a delicious fondue dinner and then we gather around the tree. Each person present gets to choose their favorite Christmas song and we all sing every single verse together (with twelve kids this was always a lenghty process! "Must be Santa"... "Nothin' for Christmas"... etc. always brought groans from the less musically inclined :D) The family sing along always concludes with a soft rendition of Silent Night. After singing when we were little we all got to open our Christmas jammies and change into them. Then dad would read the Christmas story, we would hang our stockings for Santa and then scamper off to bed.
Christmas morning breakfast is always Orange rolls and orange juice. Then we line up from youngest to oldest and marched one by one into the living room (which was always gaurded by one of the older children) to see what magic Santa had brought during the night. Ah Jill - you make me miss home. I love my in-laws, but celebrating Christmas with them this year will not be the same... I'm excited though for the years ahead when Mike and I will get to create our own family traditions!

Predilections said...

I love this! What fun traditions. Thank you for taking the time to share them with me.
We always line our kids up from youngest to oldest to make the march to the living room as well.
There's just no place like home for the holidays, is there?

Kylie said...

There really isn't. I wish I had been a little more appreciative when I was home for every holiday.