Monday, November 26, 2007

Traditions! Traditions! Traditions!

As most of you know, I am a sucker for traditions, so Christmas is no exception. I especially love starting new traditions and seeing them through. So when Vernon and I got married we had so much fun thinking of what we wanted our new family traditions to be! Some are old ones with a twist, some out of our own little minds and still others are spin-offs of things we've heard others do. (2 years ago i blogged on this same thing!)
So lets all share what our traditions are and maybe it will encourage creativity in each other!!!!

Here are some of ours. (and some pictures for visual) I tried to keep them simple so we can do them if we are in the States or in Sudan.

*The first year we were married I made ornaments that have the names of Jesus on them. We have a separate tree that we call The Jesus Tree. Each day, starting on December 1st, we pull an ornament out of the advent box and read the corresponding scripture, talk about Jesus and hang the ornament. Also, as people send Christmas Cards, we hang their pictures on the tree and pray for them after we read the scripture and hanging the ornament.

*On December 1st each family member gets a "shepherd's pouch." (this idea came from Noel Piper's book Treasuring God in our Traditions, its an amazing book I revisit each year) It is just a little piece of fabric I have sown into a little coin purse. All month each person put money in it. On Christmas Eve, everyone lays them at The Jesus Tree. In the morning when the children wake, they can come and see what the money has turned into. ( we calculate a head of time what we will give as a family to random places and ministries around the world, most often we buy something from the World Vision Catalog, like a goat to feed a family) This takes the focus off of getting and onto giving. We talk about where the money went, by using the map and globe and pictures. Last year, our money went to Sudan, because we were there, but we hope to spread it out all over so that our children will know much more of the world than the US and Sudan.
*We have Advent Candles. This is something I especially love. It is a very old church ritual to bring about anticipation of the coming King. Each week we light a candle and read some liturgy. It builds the anticipation as the children await for the "Jesus Candle" to be lit. (in the past we have kept the Jesus Candle in a specific place and lit as much as possible. Then during lent bring special attention to it so that the Thursday before Easter is the last day they see it lit until Easter morning)

here are some random pics of some things i through together this year from decor....just dorky fun stuff from around the house to add to the cheer...
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Soooo.....please oh please, do share your traditions! What do you do for Christmas?

10 comments:

wetherell said...

I absolutly love your traditions..... I am going to have to go and buy that book that you speak of. I love the seperate tree with the scripture.....we just might have to steal that one from you!

Amanda said...

These are so great! I love the shepherd's pouch and Jesus tree ides.

Janelle & Ella said...

WOW! My traditions are sweet, but I LOVE yours! I definitely am going to have to incorporate the Jesus Tree with the names of Jesus and the verses. That is awesome!! Thank you for sharing!!! Where is your advent box from?

Jennifer said...

Would you be willing to tell us the 25 names of Jesus you used to put on your tree?

Lori, Landon and Logan said...

I love the Jesus tree! That is so cool! We always get a ton of family together, read the story of Jesus' birth on Christmas eve and open a present early to celebrate Jesus birthday. Your traditions are so neat!

Doc Bombay said...

I'll tell you one tradition that I'll be starting this year: Jesus gets hosed every year when it comes to birthday cakes!! He will have a birthday cake this year!!
Whose birthday have you heard of where people celebrate their birth by distributing toys, neckties, and fruitcakes amongst themselves, and then don't even give them a cake?! Ridiculous!! We bring a tree in from outside, and hang electric lights and glass balls on it, but we can't make a 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS' cake from a box, even?! What kind of world are we living in?! There WILL BE a birthday cake for Jesus this year!! I think Jesus would like Funfetti cake. I hope the over-2000 candles I ordered from Pottery Barn get here in time!!

Nancy Mon said...

Amber, I love your traditions and the added festive touches for the holidays.

The newest Christmas tradition that we have is putting the top down on our convertible to go see Christmas lights. We try to pick cool nights and we bundle everyone up with red throws and then drive through Starbucks for hot chocky. We take friends, but our favorite thing to do is take our friends kiddos out to do this. Such joy and wonder in their excitment. This is the closest thing to a sleigh ride in Houston.

MamaCass said...

I love all these ideas. Especially the Jesus tree and the money pouches for Jesus. What a great way to remind ourselves and our families what Christmas is all about-Jesus. Thanks for sharing! I am going to have to try these ideas out.

courtney said...

I am stealing your Jesus tree idea for next year!

Anonymous said...

Im blessed that I came across this...Thanks for sharing such a wounderfull idea!