come on in and see a bit of what i'm seeing inside my house and through my windows. i'd love for you to really be able to come in and share coffee, but for now this will have to suffice.
we are in our new home. so it seems like a grand time to start some new traditions.
even though it seems crazy to be dragging out decorations in the midst of a house that is not fully unpacked and settled yet . . . but i am nothing if i'm not crazy!
i am loving how we are celebrating advent - and want to do it again next year. starting on the sunday after thanksgiving. having breakfast together every morning. lighting a candle, reading a scripture (or two), having a conversation about what we've read. giving the kids a small gift each morning. so far these gifts have been tiny pots with seeds (which are growing!), slippers, chocolates, ben's birthday gifts, a cinamon roll at a favorite coffee shop, making roll-out sugar cookies together, little toy frogs with a frog and toad book, breakfast at a favorite restaurant, tiny remote-controled cars, and watches.
we have more fun things (some hand-made, some outings, some home-baked, some store-bought, some necessities, some just-for-fun) waiting in the wings. ben and i decided to stretch our gift-giving out over all of advent. this makes little things seem bigger, and come christmas morning a stocking filled with treats and one or two gifts under the tree will be sufficient, and we'll be able to focus on Christ's birth, not on a pile of presents. just as each morning we are focusing on Christ's advent, and adding the special touches of candlelight and a gift.
another thing i've loved is how we have been decorating a bit at a time. ben brought our tree in on the first sunday of advent and we strung it with lights and put the star on top. then we left it for a week. just lights and a star. we put the decorations on the tree on the second sunday of advent - which also happened to be sinterklaas this year - or the dutch santa claus day.
we ate - traditional dutch spice cookies (thank you, G!) as we decorated the tree. yummy.
we brought in one box of christmas things during the first week and got out all of our nativities and found little niches for them.
another day i hung some christmas art on the wall in place of other things (my gram always used to do that, change out her regular wall hangings for holiday pictures and bits. i loved that. so now i do it and i am reminded of my dear gram.)
we've also been reading lots of christmas stories and playing games (i'll have to tell you about what we're reading and playing in another post.) and sledding down our hill. lots of sledding. through these beautiful frosty days. we are thoroughly enjoying this advent season in all of its bitter-sweetness. i pray that you, also, are enjoying this season my friends.