Christmas Traditions!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can finally bring out some of our favorite Christmas traditions! Faith has been asking about all of these, but I really need to concentrate on one holiday at a time. I'm anti-Christmas lights turned on the day after Halloween, presents out before Thanksgiving is over, etc. However, it's all fair game on the Friday after Thanksgiving (well, after I go shopping of course!).

One of my kids' absolute favorites is pulling out our Christmas decorations. They have several sets of "kid" decorations that are put away along with my real decorations. Every year, they cannot wait to bring out all the cool Christmas village pieces and their nativities. Faith set it all up this year on the table in my front living room.

On the top, there is a VeggieTales nativity, the Fisher Price Little People Nativity & an add on pack that had a sheep dog, and a finger puppet nativity that I bought Ben when he was really little. On the bottom, she set up a Christmas village scene--there is a Little People village set, Christmas train, and Christmas on Main Street, plus a couple of extra characters.

We also had a new kid nativity to add this year. My mom bought it for me after Christmas last year and it's a very heavy plush one. The table was getting crowded, so we moved it into the little niche in the front living room. It's still low enough for them to reach it, so all is good.

I still haven't set out my nativities. I have several beautiful ones in my china cabinet in the formal dining room, but my favorite set is still packed away. It's a set of santons that Shaun & I bought on our honeymoon during a day trip to Aubagne en Provence. They are a French style nativity that also features a multitude of provincial villagers. I think Faith & I need to pull that set out tomorrow.

Of course, once we had the kids' decorations set up, Faith immediately started asking for favorite Christmas tradition #2--the bags of Christmas books! Over the years, I've amassed a fair number of Christmas books (secular & religious), easily over 50 by now. After Christmas is over, we pack them away and bring them out again for the next Christmas season. The books remain fresh and intersting, and I really don't want to read Christmas books when it's 100 degrees outside in July in Dallas.

During the Christmas season, we drag out the bag, now bagS, of books and read a couple each night. This is the first year that Faith has really read well enough to truly read them on her own. She didn't even wait for me or Shaun to get started, just grabbed her brother & a book and started on Sandra Boynton's Bob & 6 More Christmas Stories.

Aren't they cute? :o) They read that, then we cuddled up on the couch to read Amelia Bedelia & the Christmas List and Clifford's Puppy Days - Christmas Angel. I promised F&B that we'd try to read at least 1 or 2 a day so we can make our way through the bags. We also need to go through their rooms and pull any other Christmas books to add to our collection, it is so much fun to have "new" books again each year.