Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thanksgiving and our Christmas traditions.....

 We spent our Thanksgiving with my cousin Heidi, husband Mark, their cuties MaKenna and Jessa, and my Aunt Jane.  We ate at my cousin's church- plenty of room and lots of outdoor play area outside too. 
 Michael is dancing!  He can now sing 5+ different tunes....so CUTE!!!! 
 I have people tell us all the time wow Christmas at your house must be CRAZY!  I say you have no idea, but not for the same reasons you are thinking of.......
 It is busy mostly because between November 8th and January 6th we have 8 birthdays and adoption days!!!  Our Elizabeth is a Christmas baby!!!!!  So it gets crazy and fun with lots of different cakes or pies :).  This year we have the added fun of moving, packing, and well you know all the paperwork that goes with a new house too!!!   

When we had 5 children we did Christmas presents on Christmas Day.......and decided- this is a wreck!  Not what we want at all, and hugely chaotic!!!  So we changed our way of thinking.....

***NOTE I AM NOT SOMEONE WHO JUDGES!!  Of course we all judge, but I am saying this post isn't about We are better than You because we......  Not in the least!  I have many friends that do many different things.  So I am not offended, nor do I want to offend you.  Just sharing what we have felt laid on our hearts.  :)
 We have never done Santa.  Some people look at me like we have 3 heads when we say this.  It's ok we are pretty used to it.  Our reasons:

Santa only comes to those who can afford him.  Jonathan never got gifts from Santa when he was in Ethiopia, and neither do most of the children in the entire world, or in our own neighborhood.

He is kind of creepy sometimes (think of all the kids that sit on his lap and scream) or maybe just too mysterious.

We didn't want to lie to our children.  About Santa or other things...... 
Note: we don't do Easter baskets, tooth fairy, or any other things like that either. 
 UGH!  I hate saying that, but it is just something I know people have fun with, but what if we lie about these other "fun characters", and then teach our children about Jesus and other stories that are true from the Bible.  We felt like it wouldn't give us credibility. 

When it comes to parenting children from hard places......we felt like we also couldn't afford to lie- they have been through enough!  If we lied to them about Santa then what about their birth stories and history?  Would we lie about those too?? 

Again, this is not meant to be critical, just simply our thoughts on it- our convictions. 
 We don't do Black Friday shopping :).  Just can't stand the crowds.....or the grandma's beating each other up.  Just doesn't sound like fun.   
 WE DO:  Family presents throughout the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's.  It is sporadic at best ;).  We like to surprise the kids on random days.  We hide the present in a gift bag around the house.  The kids take turns searching for the bag.  We get things like- matching shirts for everyone, books, dvd's, wii games, board games, "group toys" like scooters or bikes, or tickets to a theme park (cheaper once you live in FL). 
 We do a Bethlehem meal- get dressed up, and have fun sitting on the "Inn" floor, and talking about how it was in the day of Jesus. 
 We love to get ornaments for each child- yearly for them to hang on the tree. 
 We have Mary and Joseph and the wise men "wander the house".....

until Christmas Eve when Mary and Joseph "appear" in the manger scenes while we read the Christmas story from the Bible. 

Then baby Jesus appears on Christmas Day. 

The wise men appear on January 6th...of course we know it was much later than that. 
 We love having a Happy Birthday Jesus cake and Happy Birthday Elizabeth cake :). 

We love getting in the car with snacks (no hot chocolate sorry- snacks make enough mess.  Hot chocolate when we come home.)  and looking at Christmas lights........wonder at the amazement of all God has done for us in the past year!  Sharing our Blessings that we have received throughout the year. 
Whatever you do for Christmas- I pray that you share love and hope!!!  That GRACE of our Lord covers all that you do!  That you amount of presents and how much we spend has nothing to do with our happiness, but the fact that Jesus came down to us in human form.  That HE showed us how to love and live!  That we get to share that with so many others!!!!! 

Our prayer is that EVERYONE KNOWS HIM!!!!  THE GREATEST GIFT EVER!!!!!!!!!!! 

3 comments:

  1. Wow! I thought we were the only ones!! We do not do Santa, Easter bunny, tooth fairy and all that goes with that as well. For many of the same reasons you listed and a few more. God is so good. We are so blessed. I pray you have a happy holiday season and your move goes smoothly! Blessings!

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  2. When we adopted Israel (who was from the Congo and previously adopted by another family, two foster homes....and then finally us!!) we chose not to lie to him either. He told me one day that he can't stand it for someone to lie to him. When the question about Santa came up, I couldn't lie to him. I was also afraid that he wouldn't believe me about God if he thought I could lie about Santa. I felt badly about lying to my older birth children when they were little as well. So we just don't do Santa. We explain that it is fun for some families, like a fairy tale...We don't do the Easter Bunny either, but we do have baskets that he knows we hide....We are waiting and waiting to see if the Chinese government gives us the ok to adopt a little special needs angel who has cerebral palsy. We should know by Christmas!! Keep us in your prayers, please!! Blessings, Beth

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