Christmas, the Holiday of Warm Fuzzies and Prickly Trees

I have been known to sing Christmas music in August as I anticipate the coming winter. I love this holiday. I rarely get sucked into the commercialism of it all. The meaning and traditions surrounding this awesome holiday are what really make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The whole birth of Jesus thing still boggles my mind and I never get weary of pouring over this story every year, discovering new things each time. I love starting the year pondering this miracle in my heart, its so humbling. We all need a good humbling from time to time.

I’m very excited to start some traditions with the kiddos. The first thing I’d love to do with them is an advent calendar. Hopefully it will help us slow down each day to enjoy the season. The second thing Eddy and I’ve chatted about doing is Shepard’s Pouches. With these each of the kids have a pouch that they put money into throughout the month of December and then we decide as a family who we are going to give it to. On Christmas Eve the kids would lay their pouches in front of the manger as a birthday present for Jesus along with Mom and Dad’s gift. Then in the morning the kids would find a little something inside their pouches as a thank you. I think this is so neat. I love the idea of reaching out to others especially during the holidays and what a great way for the kids to learn about helping others, too. Anywho, these weren’t my original ideas, I got them from a book called, Treasuring God in our Traditions, by Noel Piper. Excellent book for any family.

We put up our tree yesterday. WARNING!! Don’t get a tree from Menards unless you want a major grab bag. Someday we’ll go cut our own, but this year both kids weren’t feeling well and we just happened to be at Menards. Cheap tree. Prickly tree. Massively misshapen tree. When we got it inside and began cutting the netting holding it together, I felt like I was in a bad remake of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or something. It started bursting from the bottom up. “EDDY, I NEED YOU!” I think is what came out of my mouth, though its hard to say, because I was so scared an animal might pop out from under the branches. With every snip of the netting I braced for a slap in the face by a prickly branch. Well, it seemed more dramatic then it actually became. Besides large segments of branches falling out and needles to high heavens, it didn’t break through the windows or harbor any scary woodland creatures. Its not what I would call pretty. Its spray painted an unnatural green (I didn’t notice that when we bought it). Its highly lopsided and the trunk is far from straight. But its up and its prickly. The kids are fascinated with it and call it, “Ouch!” Which is fine with me, though I’ve caught them trying to touch a needle when they think we’re not looking and then recoiling in pain. This is exactly what we had hoped for. We haven’t decorated it yet, so that will be interesting. I’ll keep you posted.
The pics are from last winter, but they still crack me up.

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