Christmas Traditions

I absolutely love Christmas and all of the traditions that go along with it.

Since becoming a mother, however, I have struggled with the whole concept of “Santa”.

I know, its weird.

I never imagined Santa being something that would cause concern to me, but I have thought long and hard over the whole concept.

Why?

I feel like I’m lying to my children when I tell them that a man dressed in red from the north pole travels the entire world (by flying reindeer, nonetheless) and gives presents to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve.

I just feel weird saying it.  I honestly have a hard time becoming enthusiastic about the whole idea.

It doesn’t help that Jon isn’t that much into Santa.

Growing up, my parents went all out with the whole Santa tradition.  I just assumed that I would do the same with my kids, only I had no clue how difficult it would be for me.

To make a long story short, I simply decided to go along with the tradition of Santa for the sake of my kids.

Even though its hard for me, I try to be enthusiastic.  Granted, I don’t answer all of Lizzie’s questions regarding Santa because there are only so many “lies” that I can handle.

Jon kind of stays out of the picture altogether in regards to Santa.  He tries to play along, but he’s worse at “lying” than I am.

I truly believe in the “spirit” of Santa.  I believe in what he represents.  I love the story.  I simply struggle with putting forth a hard and honest effort to force my kids to believe in something that isn’t completely true.

I can’t help but wonder if I’m the only mother out there who struggles so much with the concept of Santa.

Anyway, enough about Santa.

🙂

Here is a little bit of what we are going to start doing on December 1st.

My talented Mom made this cute little advent box calendar.  It was just collecting dust at her house and so she said that I could have it!

She made it out of large match boxes.  She emptied all of the boxes (and I’m sure ended up with a life-time supply of matches), covered them with scrapbook paper, numbered them, and then attached them together in the shape of a Christmas tree.  It’s awesome!  And the best part about it is that I didn’t have to make it myself. 🙂

The boxes are large enough to put things inside of it, which I try to use to its full capacity!

Every day leading up to Christmas, the kids will open the correct box and complete the activities inside.

Each box will have a piece of a Nativity Puzzle.  I printed out the Puzzle on card stock and laminated the pieces.  I also laminated the puzzle board so that it can be used year after year.  Rather than gluing, the kids just tape the puzzle pieces to their correct spots.  The puzzle will be completed by Christmas Eve.

There are also a few scriptures in each box that we will read together.  If you check out the website where I got the nativity puzzle, it also has a list of 25 scriptures and activities to go along with those scriptures.  These activities are mainly service-oriented, which is very appealing to me.

Each box will also contain a letter of the alphabet and a scripture reference.  I got these from the friend last December.

If we have time, each box will also contain a picture of a craft/activity that we can do together.  The crafts are very simple and use things that we already have lying around the house, for the most part.  I’ll post later on regarding some of the crafts and activities that we end up doing. 🙂

And, since I’m trying to get enthusiastic about Santa, there will be 2 cotton balls in each box.  The kids will glue one cotton ball onto Santa’s beard each day.  Lizzie did this last year and loved it. 🙂

Here’s the link to the Santa’s Beard PDF that we use.

When I mentioned that my Mom is talented, I wasn’t joking.  She made us this cute little Elf Christmas Countdown for us a few years ago.  On one side it says “How many days…” and then we place the correct number of days until Christmas on the other side.

Each box will contain the correct number for them to slide into the slot!

So, there you have it.  Starting December 1st, we’re getting busy!  And that cute little present box in the center is currently filled with Christmas M&M’s.  Because Christmas simply wouldn’t be Christmas without red and green M&M’s. 🙂

Oh, and although I have struggled with Santa, I have never struggled with the concept of stockings.  I bought these simple stockings a few years ago for $1.00 and then used felt to embellish them.  I just made Mason’s a few days ago.  They were easy to make and I just love the personalization of them.

I am feeling so blessed.

Recently, it seems as if we have become aware of so many people who are experiencing the most heart-wrenching trials imaginable.  It just pains us to see.  We are at a complete loss as to how we can help our family and friends.

Seeing so many people suffering around us has truly caused us to feel so much gratitude for what we have.  I can’t help but feel guilty that other people have had to suffer before we came to that realization.

We are blessed so much more than what we deserve.

I am so grateful.

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