A few months ago, I mentioned that I’d been reading Noel Piper’s book, Treasuring God in our Traditions. I’ve been having fun this year looking for particularly Christ-centered decorations and activities to try out in our home for this Christmas season. I thought I’d show you some of them; my conscience says it’s not bragging because all of my ideas are from Noel’s book, from Pinterest, or from other blogs. I’ll give credit where I can.
Abby does recognize Santa Claus from books and decorations, but I try to make sure that we talk about Baby Jesus MORE than Santa every day. We’re not “doing” Santa at our house, but we’re not avoiding him, either. So I try to keep the nativities in full view and the true Christmas story on the tip of my tongue.
I got this great advice from Small Notebook: if you don’t want your kids fixating on presents for the whole month of December, don’t keep display them in plain sight! If Jesus is the true Christmas gift, why not give him the place of honor under the tree? (Reality check: the manger scene is wooden and kid-friendly, and rarely arranged this neatly.)
The added bonus: no one knows if you’re saving all of your gift buying or wrapping for the last minute!
How do I love Advent calendars? Let me count the ways…
This was a gift, so I don’t know where it came from. But there are tons of others out there like it, including this one from Fisher-Price.
I’m going to make this one over again next year and make the cards smaller so that I have room on my cork board to actually begin with the name “Jesus,” which seems like the obvious glaring omission from this long list.
This Advent-wreath-in-a-baking-dish is inspired by Small Notebook. The original idea was to display your candles and cranberries (or wooden beads, as the case may be) in a red bundt pan. I did this at first, but then I had to switch to this Pyrex bowl because I decided to use my bundt pan to make–you guessed it–a bundt cake.
Anyway, I still like it, and I’ve added the white Christ candle to the center since taking this picture.
And in case you have an eagle eye for detail, this picture explains why Baby Jesus is having to stand up for the picture of our Nativity under the tree. But thanks to my hot-glue gun, he’s back safe and sound in his manger now. (Would have had it fixed properly, but alas, our Joseph does not have any hands.)
This box of Christmas books by the fireplace has a variety of seasonal reading material. This year Abby is partial to “Spot’s Christmas” and any book featuring pictures of mice. But there is some much more great holiday reading in this stack waiting for her to develop more sophisticated taste! (not pictured is the Jesus Storybook Bible, which contains our favorite rendition of the Nativity story, in case you are interested)
Someone crafty suggested displaying Christmas cards on decorative shutters. But who needs shutters when you have bi-fold doors in your entryway? This is the first time in our history at this house that I’ve been excited to draw attention to this closet.
So the prominent Christmas card display is not exactly Christ-centric, but it does focus our attention on our real human community, especially our friends who are far away. It’s more wholesome than obsessing over letters to Santa or waiting for the Toys R Us catalog to come in the mail, right?
I’ve been enjoying reading through this collection of Advent readings edited by Nancy Guthrie. It contains thoughtful entries from past and contemporary pastors and theologians.
Okay, there’s no deep symbolism here. I just wanted to show you my pretty new wreath, inspired by the Christmas-sock-wreath you may have seen floating around on Pinterest. I did not have lots of Christmas socks, but I did have some extra yards of white felt from last year’s stocking project, so I put it to good use.
Well, that’s the tour. Any other great ideas for a meaningful Christmas?