All Things Christmas

In November, I decided that I wanted to do everything possible to have a relaxing, enjoyable December and not get stressed to the max.  Suprisingly so, it has been wonderful this year.  I am not doing my community choirs, so I don't have all the performance obligations I have had my entire adult life.  It is amazing how much stress that eliminated!  Here are a few things we have done this Christmas season to sit back and enjoy the cinnamon scent:)

The boys love to make Christmas Cookies (even if they are store bought and not homemade). 
 Lucas' attempt at decorating.  He is such a mess:)

We went to see The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Cumberland County Playhouse with a homeschool group.  I had never seen it or read the book and didn't really know what to expect.  I ended up sobbing at the end of it, and I think Logan thought I was a moron. 

This year, we finally made a gingerbread house.  It was a kit that I bought last year, but never got around to making.  The frosting was a little pasty, so I don't recommend keeping one for that long.  The boys absolutely loved putting this together.  They coudn't wait until Landon got home to show him.  This is definately something we will start doing each year.

It didn't turn out like the box, but they were proud of it!!

This is the first year that I have ever heard of Elf on the Shelf.  I heard lots of friends talk about how much their kids looked forward to finding the elf each morning and I thought it would be fun for the boys.  Our elf didn't arrive until Logan's birthday. 

They named him Ralphie, and Lucas didn't quite know what to think about him.  I told then both that he would watch them throughout the day to see if they were good and go report to Santa.  I also told Lucas that he would watch to see if he was sucking his thumb (and the other). 

He was terrified and wouldn't even go near him.  The first couple of mornings, Lucas wanted to know where "that boy" was as soon as he woke up.   

One day, Ralphie got a little hungry and ended up in the mixed nuts jar.

In March, our music minister felt called to go to another church.  (I am still questioning this!!!  We miss you Bro. Scott!!!)  Since then, I have been leading the choir and getting the music ready for each service.   This past Sunday evening we performed the cantata "Celebrate the Child" with Gum Springs Baptist Church.  It was worshipful and I was proud of Landon, who did a superb job on his solo!

Outside Christmas Decorations...

Entre vous...

Our Christmas Countdowns!!

Fragile, it's Italian and Snoring Santa.

I think one of the shepherds was decapitated last year by Lucas. 
These carolers were a wedding gift and are some of my favorites. 

I got these dishes at Kohls a few years ago after Christmas.  I love them!

Our Family Christmas Tree.  This tree is for ornament photo frames that I
made for each family in our extended family.  Here are a few of them...

Our Christmas Card for this year.

Here are a couple of great activities/traditions that I have heard from some creative friends.  I haven't done all of them, but maybe it will be something we do next year.

1.  Wrap your Christmas books, one for each day of the month of December (or however many you have)
     and let your children open one each night and read it to them for a bedtime story. 

2.  Jesse Tree Devotional.  I really want to do this one next year.  I was out of ink for my printer and didn't
     get to do this one this year.

3.  Read this book to your children to teach about every aspect of Christmas relating to birth.  It is 
     wonderful.  I highly recommend it!!


  1. I recieved a copy of The Adventure of Christmas book quite a few years ago. I couldn't wait to complete it with my kids. Boy, was I in for a real shock. It is really for older kids and there are waaayy too many things to complete (for me). So in all your talking about adding stress to the holildays, don't try to do it all in that book. Some really fun ideas though.

    I also have made a Jesse tree ornaments out of foam. I also have a book that explains the ornaments for the kids to understand. I place the ornaments in a box advent calendar so they can open one each day. I have a small tree that goes beside it to place the ornaments on. The symbolism is still a bit over their heads too.

    Last year I wrapped all our Christmas books so they could open one each day. My kids LOVED doing this. I also asked for Christmas books for Christmas to increase our stock. My only problem was that I packed them all in our Christmas stuff in storage. We didn't get anything out this year with being in FL. I miss having our Christmas books! Oops!

    Good for you to take some time off for your kids. After all, this is what they will remember!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Love this one!!! Love the ideas for next year! The only thing you left out is that the tree in the room, (the one with all of the picture ornaments) is named the "Tree of Fire!" Great job!

  3. Ashley, aren't you just too good? :) I have good intentions to do great things, but it doesn't always happen. Maybe next year.

    Julie, I almost put that on there. haha.

  4. Aww I love the family christmas tree! :) What a great idea.

  5. Thanks Casey! I can't take credit for the idea, though. A friend came up with it and I did one too:)

  6. The first time I saw Best Christmas Pageant I couldn't keep from crying! For several years I read it to my class but 5th graders didn't appreciate it much so I stopped, but I loved it every time. Quite often at Woodland we'll have a family that reminds me of the Herdmans, but when I remember how much the baby in the manger changed Imogene, it helps me deal with them a little differently! Merry Christmas!