Our first Christmas tree in five years. every Christmas we’ve either been moving, sick, or too poor to afford one. Tuesday I took zu to storytime at the library, and at the end of storytime, instead of lining up to pet the puppets like most of the kids she wanted to look at the “baby” Christmas tree, and so I figured we could stand to take a bit from the grocery budget this month to make going out and getting a tree possible. we spent the evening decorating it, baking sugar cookies, and reading our advent story for the night.
One thing I’ve really enjoyed about parenthood is starting our own traditions. Some things we’ll carry over from each of our families, some things we start new. Like my family, we dedicate an evening to decorating the tree together and we don’t do the whole santa claus thing, and like bryan’s family we celebrate advent.
This is our first year to do family advent devotions each week, and I love it so much! We’re using a devotional guide that goes along with the jesus storybook bible. I had never even been aware of the liturgical calendar until I was in college (I don’t understand the traditional country church penchant for spaghetti dinners and flannelgraphs while kicking the liturgical calendar to the curb), and its something bryan and I want to emphasize as a family.
Zu is too little to get all of it, but she has learned a little bit about waiting. Each day we have her open a door on our advent calendar and take out a prize (past prizes: a sticker, acorns, a vitamin, candy, a bracelet, a pretty leaf…), and each day she asks “more?” and we tell her to wait. The first couple days she huffed about it (and even threw down her acorn! Bad!), but now she is getting the hang of this “Waiting” thing.
Honestly, Christmas has never been my favorite holiday. The materialism, greed, crowds shoving and trampling each other, fake glitter and gaudiness makes me sad.
But that is Christmas without jesus! And with jesus we have so much to celebrate—hope in a little baby born! And joy in us, such very broken things, being mended new.