|First things first... setting up the nativity!|
|Ready to play all through December!|
I just love this time of year! It really is the most wonderful, huh??
I relish the opportunity to build up family traditions each year now we have kids... though I also try to keep to my motto of 'the most effect for the least effort'! As I wrote about last year, I try to stick to the stuff that is enjoyable, doable and purposeful, and not get sucked into a bunch of burdensome traditions or activities. In a time that often seems to be predominantly busy and stressful for many, I really try to avoid that vibe in our home. Eg just lower the bar, haha! We do the things we love to do and I try not to feel compelled to do the things that are either too stressful or the kids don't care about anyway! Last year I did a lot less due to being heavily pregnant and still sick with hyperemesis. So I had a bit of extra energy/motivation this year to really get into Christmas celebrating now we had no pregnancy or house renos going on!! Yup, my Christmas hat was on and I was raring to go :)
|Lily is a passionate tree-decorator, she just loves it. Here she is hanging up our new ornament for 2013. A gorgeous|
one hand-painted by an Aboriginal artist., that Mark bought when in Adelaide recently.
- magical memories,
- remembering the greatest gift (Jesus, born for us),
- giving, serving and blessing others,
- creativity and craft, and
- good ol' fun!
|Can't believe they all naturally lined up like this and I managed to snap it!|
A Christmas miracle?! The kids decorated most of the tree while Mark and I smiled and
watched, but they insisted Daddy help out with some of it at the end :)
|Oh yes, Miles was right in place too, desperately trying to get hold of an ornament to|
Our evolving family Christmas traditions...
I love layering in meaningful new traditions and most of all, building special memories for our family. It is a constant mission to keep reminding myself to keep things simple and stress-free! But I try. I also try not to fret when things don't go to plan. 'Cos sometimes even in the midst of the funnest project/event, there will be tears (Because: KIDS). Just gotta roll with it?!
One thing that really helps me enjoy the season is that I set myself the goal of having all gifts purchased and sorted out by December 1st. It really frees me up (mentally and time-wise) to focus on all social events, activities and traditions we want to do in December and it's nice to have all these things be an enjoyment rather than burden!
And so - Merry Christmas to you and to you and to you.
My hope is for the richest blessings for you in 2014!
|Eli was so charmed by these little Santas for every family member - a gift from Mark's parents last year :)|
|After the big finale (switching on the lights to a chorus of awed gasps!) the|
kids excitedly ripped into their first Christmas Advent Book :)
|The kids are tucked in bed at last and I am left to survey this sweet little scene. Magical childhood memories are|
conjured up in this little space.
|Our 'minimalist' little tree is looking a little small in our big house and loaded down|
with our growing ornament collection. Not quite ready to part with it yet but a bigger
tree may be coming...
|The kids love playing with this huge cardboard nativity stage!|
|Jesus' Manger and the 'Blessing Hay'. The kids get to put in a bit of hay each time they do a kindness/blessing for someone. Our way to welcome Jesus who is the greatest blessing of all!|
|My sweet little Christmas Elf!|