Category Archives: Christmas & Navidad Ideas

un poco de todo de la Navidad!! A little bit of everything Christmas!

Christmas Mouse Mischief: a new Christmas tradition

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Christmas Mouse Mischief: a new Christmas tradition

There’s a furry critter creeping about our house!!  He gets into mischief every night!  He does a lot of things that the Elf on the Shelf does…makes messes, gets into things, eats candy, watches movies, even opens some presents!!

We’re starting a new little Christmas tradition this year at our house….the cute little Christmas Mouse!

(to my kids: you are not allowed to read this next part!)  I have been seeing the Elf on the Shelf everywhere in my digital world lately…have you seen him?  A little red elf with big mischievous eyes who gets into trouble while the kids are sleeping.  From what I gather, he’s kind of a spy sent from Santa to see if the kids are being good.  So I like the idea of all the fun mischief, but not so much the spying part.  And so I decided to “invent” our own little mischief maker(s).  I sewed him up out of felt, doing some online research to make his outfit, and came up with a story to introduce him to the kids…it’s called Nicholas and the Christmas Mice.  My plans were to make a few more mice, but maybe they’ll visit next year!

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

“Needless to say, these little creatures were forever grateful to Nicholas for saving them from certain death.  They refused to leave him and settled into his home, determined to help him and cheer him up and be his family.

The little mice quickly caught on that Nicholas has some secrets!  He had been helping out the people in his community.  Using his inheritance, he tried to do good wherever he could, but didn’t want to let anyone know that it came from his hand.  The little mice would watch as he put on his cloak with a furry hood and quietly leave the house in the dark and damp of the night, not even lighting a candle to see by.

At his return, right before the sunrise, the little mice would blink open their eyes at the squeak of the door, and peek out from their cozy beds.  At first they wondered what Nicholas was up to in the dead of night.

Then one day he let them in on his secret doings, for he needed their help.  He explained in a modest way how he was trying to help his neighbors, and how he didn’t want anyone to find out who the secret helper was.  Down the road aways was the small cabin of a poor fisherman and his three daughters.  They were so poor that the fisherman feared that no one would want to marry his daughters and that they would become sad old maids.

Nicholas wanted to share some of his gold coins with the fisherman so that his three daughters could have lovely weddings to fine young men.  The problem was that Nicholas couldn’t figure out a way of getting the gold coins into the fisherman’s hut at night, because the little home was always guarded by an old but fierce and loyal dog who wouldn’t let anyone near his master’s home.

The little mice pleaded to be allowed to help.  “It will be a dangerous mission, but worthy of your courage and generosity, my dear little mice,” said Nicholas.  His jolly face beamed down at the four of them, pleased to have company on this lonely midnight adventure…”

So that’s how we started off our new tradition.  I read the story at night, then told that kids that if they happened to see a mouse around the house in the morning, they should just look and not touch, and clean up any messes!!

The next morning, this is what we found:denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house!A little someone had found the scissors and made a mess creating tiny snowflakes!  The next morning….denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house!He had “opened” some presents, then stayed up all night watching the new movies, with his little bucket of popcorn!COne of the kids was not pleased at all that a mouse had opened a present, and felt that this might ruin Christmas…but then someone else explained to the Mouse what proper behaviour is and was sure that he wouldn’t repeat the offense.  It helped that the kids noticed that there was a present with each of  their names on it…something new to watch together!  The mouse hasn’t opened any more presents….he has only done some things like:denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house!graffiti our calendar and find and new friend…(that’s how we found out his first name is Squeako!  His second name, so Tassy informed us after chatting with him, is Jalapeño!)…denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house!play with some vehicle toys in the night…denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house!brought some more mice friends and tried to cook something…. (toy food)denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house! denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house! denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house! denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house!climb around a new planet and have a few adventures….denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house! denna's ideas: new tradition, the Christmas mouse in the house!He’s been up to something every night, but he likes to sleep during the day.  The kids made a little box home for him to sleep in while he’s not having nocturnal adventures and to use while he’s visting us…denna's ideas: a new tradition, the Christmas Mouse in the House!We have been having lots of fun with Squeako Jalapeño!  He’s quite quiet and looks serious, but his little deeds give us something to look forward to in the dark early hours before getting ready for school!  (and when I say dark and early, I mean really dark and really early!)denna's ideas: a new tradition, the Christmas Mouse in the House!denna's ideas: a new tradition, the Christmas Mouse in the House!denna's ideas: a new tradition, the Christmas Mouse in the House!You find out in the story that Nicholas and the Christmas mice lived in a village called Patara.  It was once a part of Greece, then later belonged to Turkey, thus his little vest and hat! (the scarf appeared because his neck is too thin and liable to get chilly!) 🙂

So we welcome little Squeako, and maybe someday he’ll be joined by some brothers and sisters, to liven up the countdown to Christmas in the dark and snowy days of our Canadian winters.

What is a Jesse Tree?

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I think the first time I heard about something called a Jesse tree was a couple of years ago…but then I forgot about it.  This year I was looking around online for Christmas ideas and I found some ideas for making your own Jesse tree for a Christmas advent countdown.  When I found Ann Voskamp’s blog, I knew that this was the one I wanted to try for Jesse tree this year…you can find a page of free printable ideas here.  The second item on the list is the one for the Jesse Tree printable ornaments.  Included there you can also find a printable daily reading for each day in December, so I printed it all out.  Each reading corresponds with one ornament.  Here’s the folder I put the printed pages into…(I didn’t print them double-sided, so there are lots….)denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012When I was printing everything out, I messed up a few times, so I had some extra pages that I cut up to “decorate” the folder with.  The ornaments can be printed out in color or black and white….and they are sized like the ones shown above.  I was noticing a few glitches on the colored ornaments, so decided to go with the outlines, and to print them on brown kraft cardstock.  I shrunk them down quite a bit, too to make much smaller ornaments.  I cut around each ornament, not the outside box, and then stuck them with pop up adhesive to punched-out shapes of cardstock.denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012Then, for a primitive, homemade, country krafty kind of look, I tied them with rough twine.  On some of the ornaments I punched holes around the edge and got the kids to sew them with red thread, to make it a little more interactive.  It would have been nice of me to organize the whole thing as a craft for everyone to do…make all the ormanments together…but I knew that that would involve many hours, messes and half finished ornaments….so I did it myself, like the Little Red Hen did.  Except for the red thread…denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012A Jesse tree can be any type or representation of a tree.  We used a small white tree to hang these ornanents on (because I love white sparkly Christmas trees!), along with some of the cinnamon hearts that we made the other day.denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012Later, I found a wooden word that I thought was appropriate in many ways for our little tree….denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012Now, you might still be asking, what exactly is a Jesse tree, since I know I haven’t explained it at all….

I was going to put a bunch of quotes from wikipedia on here to explain it to you, but my computer malfunctioned yesterday and erased all the quotes I had picked out, so maybe that was a sign that I should just put it into my own words and make it sound more simple than the quotes did! 😉

The original idea of the Tree of Jesse started in the 12th century (from what I understood) and it was a way of visually showing the ancestors of Jesus Christ.  Like it was the first family tree idea.  Like a visual aid, you know?  There are several verses in the Bible that mention the idea of a tree, like Isaiah 11:1 ” A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”  It is all connected to Matthew 1:1 which starts out: “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham..”  So a tree of Jesse was a symbol to communicate the ancestral line of Jesus in a visual way….showing the different people in his family tree, starting out with Jesse, the father of King David.  In the olden days (like Medieval times and such) this tree was represented in stained glass windows in cathedrals, on tapestries and embroideries and in stone and wood.  An excellent teaching aid for everyone.

Modern day Christians have taken some of this idea and have joined it with an Advent countdown, and generally use it as a way of teaching children about Jesus and people who were in his family tree.  Ornaments are made to represent each person (though nowadays they don’t necessarily include everyone in the family line), such as a ram for Isaac, an ark for Noah, etc.  The ones we are using also show a rope to represent Rahab (the shady lady who hid the spies) a camel and tent for Abram, and a colorful coat for Joseph of course!  (‘cept ours isn’t very colorful, so I added clothespins!)denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012After we read a scripture about the person of the day, there are a couple of paragraphs by Ann Voskamp to help show us how what we just read has a place on that tree, the tree which shows God’s story from the beginning in Eden to the star over Bethlehem, from Adam to Jesus Christ.  So as we are counting down Advent, which means “coming” we are re-living and thinking about Jesus’ coming to earth in a human form and what that meant to the whole world and what it means to each of us personally.denna's ideas: our Advent candlesMaybe I’m making it seem a lot more organized and peaceful than it is at our house sometimes.  This is the idea of the Jesse Tree.  Does an ornament get put on the tree every night at our house?  No, sometimes it will be 3 at a time, to make up for those crazy December evenings of kids’ concerts and stuff.  Are the kids always sitting around gazing at us with shining eyes as we read each day’s verses and readings, hanging on our every word?  No, not really, but even if they are busy putting together their countdown puzzles or coloring or whatever, I still have the hope that they are listening.  My favorite part of our evening comes after all this: the ornaments on the Jesse tree, the candles lit, the puzzles done, the stories read, when we each take a turn to pray together and I can hear what is in each of our hearts.denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012My notes about a Jesse tree: there are many different resources online, so that if you want to do this idea, you can tailor it to your own family’s needs.  There are versions available for younger children.  This one in particular wouldn’t work so well for younger kids, the wording is fairly poetical and might be lost on them.  There are some places where you find a craft for each ornament that you make with the kids.  I was happy to start out with this one which had the printable ornaments ready to use.  I guess you have to decide how much time and organization you want to put into this project. This Jesse tree devotional from Ann Voskamp (see link at the top of the page) seemed like not too much work for me and  I decided to go for it this year, to see how it works and what we can learn from doing it together.  Maybe next year we’ll do a different version, or invent our own version.  So I guess you’ll really have to ask the kids themselves to find out just how well it worked for us!! 🙂

Peppermint Fredricks a.k.a. the Nutcracker

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Peppermint Fredricks a.k.a. the Nutcracker

This time of year especially, I seem to get the sweet munchies (translation: I feel like eating sweets after meals!)  The other day we were up to “Christmassy” things and it seemed like we really should have a special sweet something to munch on…but I didn’t have any butter or other main ingredients needed for something yummy.

Then I saw this easy little recipe for peppermint patties….only ingredients needed: cream cheese, icing sugar and chocolate chips (and peppermint extract!)  All of which I happened to have.  (I still have a stash of mint and peppermint extract from when I was craving peppermint awhile ago!)  Here’s the blog called She Wears Many Hats, where I found the idea (recipe and how-to) very cute!

In no time at all the cream cheese was beat up with the sugar and extract and we were making little balls and indenting them with a forth of a teaspoon measuring spoon. (Refridgerate for awhile…no baking required!! yay!)      denna's ideas: peppermint fredricksSome we tried rolling in crushed candy cane for a more festive look!  Then melt some chocolate chips and pipe the chocolate into the hollows, easy enough!denna's ideas: peppermint fredricksdenna's ideas: peppermint fredricksLet the chocolate set and ready set go!!  Yum, I thought they were great!  Even our cream-cheese-hater liked them!! (even after being told the “secret ingredient”!)  I thought the recipe yielded plenty….but then I saw that it was supposed to make about triple what we made!!!  So I guess the original recipe peppermint patties are quite tiny….ours were about 2 to 3 bite peppermints, or one large mouthful!

That day the kids unwrapped The Nutcracker storybook and read through it.  There’s something that captures you about that fairy tale!!  None of the kids have seen the ballet, only read this book.  Sure it has the weird and creepy rat king in it, but the underlying story of Fredrick and what happens to him is very interesting!denna's ideas: peppermint fredricksIt seemed like a good time to give the kids their ornaments for this year:denna's ideas: peppermint fredricksA few years ago I had given them larger (dollar store) nutcrackers, and they were great, until they all lost an arm or arms!!  So in their memory, I found these small ones that can hang on the tree!  Here’s one of the armless ones still hanging around…denna's ideas: peppermint fredricksYou have to read the story to find out why the nutcrackers have such staring eyes, wide mouths and big heads…. 😉

So what do nutcrackers and peppermint candies have to do with each other??  In the blog post where I found the how-to for the candies, the lady was saying that she thought that Peppermint Patties were named for someone named Patty….but was surprised to find out that they weren’t named for a person.  Then she suggested that you could name them for anyone, like Peppermint Jorge or something……..so we decided on Peppermint Fredricks (in honor of the nutcracker)!  I guess this is another “sensory memory” to add to our stash of Christmas Memories, peppermint and chocolate and nutcrackers. 🙂denna's ideas: peppermint fredricksOooo boy, just writing about it and seeing the photos makes me want some mOORE!!  I thought they were super yummy!  (a bit rich for little kids, so I had to sacrifice and finish Tassy’s second one for her!)  Hmmm….wonder if there’s any cream cheese in the fridge??…

A slightly “green” Advent book countdown

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A slightly “green” Advent book countdown

In the last few years we have started doing our own little Advent celebration at home during December.  It’s not something I grew up with, but we have all really enjoyed doing something together each evening of December.  This year we’ve added a few new ideas:  a Jesse Tree and an Advent book countdown.  I wanted to mention the book countdown….I’m sure many of you have seen photos of this idea online, and I saw it circulating on Pinterest a lot….so I decided to make my own version.

The idea is this: wrap up 24 kids books, and make them look like presents, then each day the kids can unwrap and read one  book.  The idea isn’t that they are necessarily new books or even Christmas/winter books.  That seemed easy enough to do!!  And kind of cute.  So a few months ago I started picking some of (my favorite) books off the kids’ bookshelves and squirreling them away.  We also have a stash of Christmas/winter books that I pack away after the holiday each year.  But then I was thinking of all that wrapping paper……don’t get me wrong, I LOVE wrapping paper!!  But sometimes when I see the big bags full of scrunched up paper that gets thrown out every year (because most of it can’t be recycled) I feel kinda bad….so (lightbulb!!!) I thought of wrapping the books in something that won’t get tossed!  (that’s where the “green” part comes in!! I wouldn’t be adding to the trash on the planet! bonus!)

I looked around the house and found some chunks of fabric and 3 new dishtowels…and thought, this is it!  So I did buy a couple of those cute packages of dishtowels, the kind that have 4 coordinating ones tied with a ribbon…denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown booksI didn’t think I had enough fabric around the house, so I wanted some new fabric, to go with my Christmas colors of red, white and brown for this year.  So those “fat quarters” at Walmart came in handy…denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown booksAnd then I realized….this is turning into an expensive project!!  That’s when I decided to wrap some of the books in brown kraft paper from the dollar store.  I did rationalize the dishtowels….I really need new ones….and the fabric…..I will use it in various projects, really!!  (As soon as I get that sewing machine to work!)  Oh, and new red yarn…..I’ll use it for many Christmas projects!

Anyways….here’s my recipe for a cute and fun “green” Advent book countdown:

denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown books24 kids’ books (both hard and soft covers)

1 roll of brown kraft paper

yarn and string (I used red, brown and white)

11 new dishtowels

7 lengths of fabric of different sizes (red, brown and white)

scissors and tape

1 and 1/2 hours of your time

Directions:  (this is probably why it took me an hour and a half:) pick out the order you want the kids to unwrap the books.  The easiest way would have been to have the largest books on the bottom of the pile and the smalles books on top.  But I had to do it the time-consuming way of course!!  And then I decided to wrap the books with the fabric for the first days of December so that I could use that fabric for some Christmas decorating….these things take time, so feel free to skip these steps and just jump in and wrap away!!  Tie the fabric-wrapped books with yarn or string, and use tape on the brown paper.  I thought it would be cute to add numbered tags…but I knew that that would take me an extra hour to do….and I was rushing to get it done before the kids got home!  (I’m afraid that I also kept a list of what book would be opened which day, just in case I felt like coordinating some activity with a book….so far this has not been necessary or used at all!          Boy I sound like a geek.)denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown books denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown books denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown books denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown books

(I was humming “brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!!)  Stack up the presents as you go, and there you are:  your beautiful green Advent countdown is ready to go!denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown books

Disclaimer: the author of this recipe and tutorial does not guarentee that your children will appreciate or even like your work and effort to create this advent countdown.  They may not want to do it, or may not think that unwrapping old books is cool or fun.  You must be the judge of what your children can handle  (yes, it is ok, as a parent, to be judgemental in these types of situations!)

Here are some of the books I wrapped up:denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown booksI know my kids are getting older, but many of these they can remember from when they were little, so I thought a bit of nostalgia was ok for this project….some of my favorites:denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown booksI love Mortimer’s Christmas Manger, it’s really special.  Usborne books have some really cute Christmas and winter books and a nice book of Christmas carols.  The Nutcracker book has become a tradition around here.  The Christmas Story is a book that was given to me by my special Auntie Lucy and Uncle Homer when I was a wee one ( a long time ago!).  The inscriptions in the books can be as important as the book itself, I think….so be intentional and write a bit to your child and date it, believe me, it will be cherished.  We even have a book that was created by my daughter! 🙂 denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown booksAnother book that has become a traditional Christmas favorite is The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (in the middle of the photo)…it was a gift from friends and came with a CD to listen to.  I just love love love listening to it when the lights are low and the kids are tucked into their beds and drifting off to sleep, it’s so soothing and magical, with a really great story!  (We haven’t unwrapped that one yet!!)

denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown booksFishing in the Air isn’t a Christmas or winter book, but one of my very very favorite kids’ books to read aloud.  About a father and a son and their memorable fishing trip.denna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown booksAbulea’s Weave is a book I found last year, about a Guatemalan girl and her grandmother.  I was so happy to finally have a kids book about Guatemala!  The White Pony is another of my all all-time favortite kids books….maybe my MOST FAVORITE OF ALL.  The painted illustrations of Native Americans are gorgeous and the story is really the most one fabulous one ever told.  I totally recommend this book, it’s great for all ages:  The White Pony “a tale of great love by Sandra Byrd, paintings by Sarah Waldron” published by Waterbrook Press.denna's ideas: the best kids in the world!!What can I say?? Even though there are times when I’m going completely crazy and want to stop ALL this Christmas preparation and just sit down and give up on absolutely everything, there will come a moment like the one above, when everyone is together in harmony, and I’ll will remember that I have the BEST kids in the whole world and that I guess my efforts aren’t wasted if I can give them a nice Christmas to remember.  My six-year-old and I walked into the house yesterday after being at the clinic, and she said “I love walking into our warm house full of cozy things!!” and that sure made me smile.  Yes, it’s messy and cluttered and sometimes that’s all I can see, but she focused on the coziness and is grateful for a warm house on a freezing cold day.  That’s something to Ponder in my Heart and remember to be grateful for.

I hope you are having a beautiful Advent season, counting down the days to the day when we celebrate the BEST BIRTHDAY OF ALL!!  🙂

The smell of Christmas Memories

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The smell of Christmas Memories

What smells bring Christmas to your mind??  Gingerbread?  Hot apple cider?  Candy canes?  Turkey roasting?  Mandarin oranges?

My favorite is an obvious one:  the smell of real evergreen Christmas trees!!  This year we have a real tree and I’m just loving the scent of it!!  I can put up with all the shedding for that wonderful spicy smell that transports me back to Christmases past!

Other smells that remind me of Christmas in my childhood are ones found in Guatemala:  the smell of aserrín=sawdust! (dyed many different colors and used for making nativity scenes), the smell of manzanilla (little yellow fruit that is strung into garlands for decoration), the smell of crushed pino (clusters of long-needled pine that are scattered on the floor at parties), the smell of ponche simmering on the stove (a cooked fruit punch full of fabulous fruitiness), the smell of tamales in their green leaves (this now reminds me of Christmas, but I wouldn’t touch them when I was a kid!) and one of my favorites: the smell of gunpowder from cohetes!!-fuegos artificiales-!  (we always lit off fireworks at Christmas and New Years! And even today the smell of gunpowder immediately makes me think of Christmas and celebrations and fun!!)

I was thinking about the smells of Christmas and wondering what scents will remind my kids of the Christmases we have spent together…..baking shortbread? gingerbread cookies? pine tree?

And so I decided that we should make a few “smelly” crafts this year, just to make sure that when my kids are all grown up, they will be transported back to family Christmases every time they smell…….cloved oranges!!  And cinnamon apple decorations!!

I remember working on cloving oranges when I was a kid and my mom would supervise us as we stabbed the hard oranges with cloves…or large needles before we could get the clove in!  This year I found a helpful idea on pinterest, so just had to try it with my kids.  The secret: make grooves in your oranges first!!  The photo I saw said something about paring the oranges, and I tried it with the end of my peeler, but that didn’t work, so I just used a knife to cut a “v” groove down the side of the orange…then let the kids at them with the cloves!!  Ahhh what a lovely smell!!denna's ideas: making cloved Christmas oranges denna's ideas: making cloved Christmas oranges denna's ideas: making cloved Christmas oranges denna's ideas: making cloved Christmas oranges

Another oderiferous craft that I thought we should try was cinnamon and applesauce oranments.  Yes, that’s all they are, cinnamon (lots of it) and applesauce.  I used the recipe found here.  It turned out to be a very crazy craft!!!  I guess we must have done something a bit wrong, because the “dough” was too soft…needless to say, there were a whole bunch of “potty jokes” flying around the table as we worked with that soft brown dough…..(shudder shudder!)denna's ideas: making cinnamon ornamentsWe put a tablespoon too much of applesauce, then kept adding cinnamon to try and make it firm up….the dough was so damp that it was super hard for the kids to make shapes out of it or cut it with cookie cutters..denna's ideas: making cinnamon ornaments denna's ideas: making cinnamon ornamentsIt was so funny to work on these!!!  But it was a little strong and my son’s hands started to turn a bit red and itchy! 🙂denna's ideas: making cinnamon ornamentsIn the end, I scooped up all the mushy ornaments and pressed it bit by bit into a small heart shaped cookie cutter and then used a drinking straw to make a hole in each heart…..no one seemed to mind that I did that…..and when the ornaments were slowly baking it made the house smell fabulous!!  Everyone enjoyed that part!!denna's ideas: making cinnamon ornamentsP.S.  the recipe says that the ornaments are not for eating, but my oldest daughter thought they tasted great and kept nibbling at the dough and consumed several baked ornaments!!  Craziness!  There’s like a half a cup of cinnamon in there!

So it was a messy crazy craft, but I think I would do it again, for the laughs and the great aromas that it brought!!  And they look so cute on our little white tree and still smell so nice…. denna's ideas: making cinnamon ornamentsFun Christmas crafts, and did you notice that we didn’t have to buy anything “special” to make them (I happened to have a new large container of cinnamon on hand!!)??  It gives a nice homey, handmade feel to our decorations…..and the smells!!  For sure those smells have become part of our Christmas memories! 😉

Christmas in July….a puzzling tradition…

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Christmas in July….a puzzling tradition…

I don’t quite get the whole “Christmas in July” thing.  I’ve been seeing it everywhere.  I guess it’s great for those people who can think that far ahead and have space to keep all their early Christmas preparations….I just can’t.  I’m afraid that I just took my Christmas tree down in May, so I’m really not feeling like thinking about Christmas!!

But I did just happen to find a draft of a post I did in December, but never posted.  So in the spirit of Christmas in July, here is something we made up to do at our house, to use in our Advent countdown to Christmas…it has been fun, and we have been doing it enough years that each child has made each puzzle!

Maybe July isn’t such a bad time to start thinking about things like Advent countdowns, just in case you see something on a summer sale!!  (I’ve already been searching for things for my daughter’s bday in the fall!)  Anyways, check these out:

(these are some of my digital scrapbook 12×12 layouts using Creative Memories digital content)

the Nativity

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the Nativity

Christmas Eve is here!  Finally, after all the waiting!  Do you set up a nativity in your house?  We never used to, but when we had children, it seemed like such a nice visual to use to tell the story of the first Christmas.  This clay nativity was bought 31 years ago, and was in packing for a long time, but has finally seen the light of day again, or should I say, the light of Christmas Eve!

¡Ven a cantar, ven a gozar, que ya llego la Navidad!  ¡Despues de tanto espera!  Y uds, ¿ponen un naciemiento en su casa  Antes nunca lo haciamos, pero con la llegada de hijos, era una forma tan linda y visual para hablarles acerca de la primera Navidad.  Hace como 31 años, compramos este nacimiento de barro…estuvo empacado por muchos años, pero al fín vio la luz del día, mejor dicho, la luz de la Navidad.

We also made our own nativity out of wood, and each person painted a figure…this one is a little more child friendly…

Tambien hicimos un nacimiento de madera, y cada persona pintó uno de las figuras…este sí es más apropiado para niños… 

My dad painted this one….Jesus, the reason for the season!

Mi papá pintó esta…..¡Jesús, la razon por la epoca! 

And here is another nativity, that we tried a few years ago…I loved it very much.

Y aquí hay otro nacimiento, el cual intentamos hace algunos años…me encantó muchisimo.