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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent Calendar, days 5-9

Tomorrow one of my handsome fellas will draw for the Christmas Giveaway. It's now or never. Click here and comment if you are interested.

December 5: We made these cute handprint ornaments, that are now hanging on our tree. I searched high and low for this little kit last year, but never ran across them. This year I got smart and searched online.December 6: This was St. Nicholas Day. Did you know that he had a day? I recently learned this. So on December 6th, Holden and I sat at the kitchen table during Pax's morning nap. While Holden did some coloring and Santa crafts, I read to him about St. Nicholas' life. After a few years of debating back and forth, I think Jeremy and I have decided to not do Santa at our house. I'm kind of surprised by our decision. We both grew up with Santa bringing gifts to our house. But for reasons I'm not even certain about, I've been hesitant about Santa since Holden's first Christmas. I barely touched on my feelings here. But it's one of those things that I'm not heavily opinionated on. To each his own. I just think for our family, it felt like the best direction for us to go. And the more I talk to others about it, I'm encouraged. Talking it out is often how I process my thoughts. :) I'm hoping that at our house Santa can be like Mickey Mouse. Kids don't walk around telling other kids that Mickey Mouse isn't real. He's just a character. Part of Disney World, like Santa is part of Christmas. Hopefully we'll figure it out as we go. I just don't want my kids to spoil it for the others that do believe. We will still be taking pictures with Santa, cause that's a Kodak moment I don't want to give up. And if we went to Disney world, we would also get our picture made with Mickey Mouse. ;) Is that even a good correlation? I'm still trying to figure it all out.

December 7: I read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and we acted it out with our nativity scene.

December 8: At bedtime, Jeremy read 2 of our favorite Christmas books to the boys. Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck and Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown.

December 9: Today we played dress the snowman, which I found from this site. It was like a paperdoll snowman where Holden could choose his hat, scarf and other accessories. Pretty fun little activity. And all I had to do to prepare was print and cut. Nice. I do love the website that I linked above. It has some wonderful ideas for all ages.

Yep, no pictures this round. Apparently I've been a slacker. I hope to do better in the days ahead. But this Advent calendar has been alot of fun. It's made me be more intentional in planning my day and time with the boys. And they love the new activities. More to come . . .


Lindsey said...

I like the handprint ornaments! :) So sweet, and they'll be cherished each year as you pull out your Christmas things.

I hear you about Santa and St. Nicholas and Christmas. This is a bit of a sticky point for us, as well. We choose to acknowledge the American Santa (North Pole, sleigh, reindeer, chimneys, ho ho ho) as a fun character. We don't ban him or avoid watching Rudolph or grumble when we see him at the mall. He's just like you said, a character to enjoy like Mickey. Then we remind them of the real person, Nicholas of Myra, who stories and legends tell us really did generously and perhaps anonymously give to others, particularly children. St. Nicholas matters in my household. We do celebrate on Dec. 6--the kids put out their shoes the night before and they are filled (I let them draw their own conclusions about who fills them, I don't tell them one way or the other) with chocolate coins, candy canes, and other treats. Sometimes stickers, often they get new pajamas, sometimes a coloring book or something about St. Nicholas.

The sticky issue is, my 5 year old actually did tell his cousin this year (when I was not around) "Santa isn't real; St. Nicholas is real. Our friends give us presents." He didn't know that this was a no-no. I have tried to let them have fun and have not sat down to give them a long list of "don'ts" when it comes to Santa and the surrounding lore.

Lindsey said...

My SIL was so disappointed. She told me "I just wanted to let you know so that he doesn't ruin it for anyone else." I felt like crying the whole day. My child said something innocently (not maliciously) and somehow he ruined something. However, she and I talked later and we both explained where we were coming from. The Santa story is very much part of what she cherishes at Christmas, and I think that's from her upbringing. My parents didn't really raise me with that, so it's hard for me to understand (we had presents signed "from Santa" but it was in my mom's writing! For us it was just a fun little game, for as long as I can remember.)

Anyway, it's always possible that our children or we will step on someone's toes. I guess how we proceed from there is where we need grace.

I love what you share about your family on your blog, Melodie. Maybe one day we can meet up again, with our families. Love, Lindsey