Christmas traditions, old and new

So proof people read because I got quite a few calls about my last post.  Good to know that I normally keep the bar high for positive writing.  In reality like everyone, my ups and downs are pretty on par with most, I just usually keep it off the record. Thank you to those who took a second to check on me though, it was just what I needed.

Anyway!

Christmas time is its own type of magic and we are keeping up with our traditions even while we add in new ones or let some drift away.

This year we have 4 countdowns to Christmas;  Like other years, Santa’s beard is trimmed daily and each day is basically a positive and selfless item and so far so good.  On ‘write a nice note for someone’ day I was gifted with some super sweet notes.  I don’t have a picture this year but Santa is colored with style and his hat is a work of art (literally)

Two new count downs join the group.  My mom sent a classic advent pop open calendar with a little candy and line from the Christmas story in each.  Our post office got a little aggressive so all the candy actually fell out so it now lives in a tin and the fun is opening the door and reading the passage.  #3 noticed that they all had ‘some guys name and some numbers’ at the bottom and I filled her in on how the Bible works.  She then decided to read the bible.  She will not be discouraged and the copy we have (that nobody knows where it came from) actually has pronunciation guides so it is not all that hard to read, except you know, for how hard it is to read.  It is an odd outcome but I don’t mind if she reads.

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she will not skip ahead…

Mom’s contribution was in semi reaction to my dad deciding that his daughters would enjoy a tea advent calendar.  I don’t know about my sisters but I certainly enjoy it.  The kids open the tea but after dinner, I make a little pot of interesting tea and we all have a little cup.  Most have been really really good and overall I enjoy the process.  On tea tastes like forest sweepings but 1 out of 10 isn’t bad.  #3 likes all of them, #2 likes the ‘normal’ tea that happened to be one of the days and #1 has enjoyed a few and not liked a few.  I’ve liked them all (except that one, pine needles are not for drinking).

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The 4th countdown is the one that I remember best from my growing up, the 4 Sundays of Advent.  It is a short little lighting of the candle and saying of prayer and singing a song but we follow it with a family dinner and all the kids love it.  Of course, there was negotiations about who would lite what candle but they mostly worked it out and it is a nice part of our weekend.  If all goes well, the 4th Sunday will be celebrated in Sayville this year.

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There are a few things that have drifted.  We don’t read Christmas books out loud anymore.  In some ways, the tea took the spot but our bedtime has changed and they just don’t read with us anymore.  It is a little sad but I’m overall glad they can all read solo and usually choose to (even the bible sometimes).  We also won’t have the opportunity to celebrate Hannaka because we will be gone during the 8 nights.  I’m sure we could find a way in NY but really it was about sharing that evening with our friend.

Finally, a Christmas event that accidentally started last year persists.  In an odd hybrid of Scandinavian culture that surrounds us here, and, the semi detestable elf on the shelf the Tonte’s we made last year have started moving around the house and even brought gifts on the 1st of December.  They are undeniably adorable and they are NOT watching us for Santa nor do they get into trouble in the night.  They simply move about and create a magic moment every afternoon when they race inside to see where they moved to during the day.  They are a good addition and a very low-stress magic maker.

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One day they helped the tree feel loved before we got time to decorate

We have the tree up and trimmed, decorations around and about, Santa has been visited, town tree has been officially lit and I am nearing the end of shopping.  We have a plan for hand made gifts and they are in process.  Each year we do different things so hard to say ‘tradition’ quite but this year the girls are taking the lead on projects they want.  I’m glad to see the craft gene expressing itself! This weekend we will be doing the majority because next week we are busy every night of the week and heading off to NY on Friday.

Time to finish up and make the tea then chase 3 good girls into bed.

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