Monday, November 26, 2012

Practices, Plans, and Projects

Well, as some of you know (and the rest of you are about to find out), we are really changing things up for this time of year in the Shan Clan.

We are no longer going to have "Christmas Presents" - at least not for us.  We will be starting a new family tradition of "New Year's Presents," and though we have limited them in the past, we will be limiting them more specifically this year.

One Thing They Want
One Thing They Need
One Thing To Wear
One Thing To Read

This way, we can focus on celebrating Jesus' birthday, and here that means doing things to bless and/or help others.  So on Christmas Day, we've settled on several ways in which we will think of others and hopefully spread a little bit of Christ's love and the true meaning of Christmas.

We also decided to take the opportunity to begin a couple of other new traditions, to help us bond as a family and focus on time together.  One of those has to do with Christmas Eve.  Part of the day will be spent wrapping up preparations for Christmas Day, but then we will have some fun family activities.  I have two crafts picked out to do with the kids, and in the afternoon they will each get a "Christmas Eve Package" (still trying to come up with a clever name!).  The package will have new pajamas and slippers, new movies (because of my fabulous finds on Amazon, each kiddo is getting 2 movies), a new mug or cup, and a couple of their favorite treats (and anything else I think of between now and then - ideally I'd like to do a new blanket for each of them too, but I don't know if I can get to that by then!).  Then we are going to have a hot chocolate bar (yes, I totally got the idea on Pinterest!) with snacks and watch Christmas movies.

I am so excited to see these new traditions come to fruition!  The kids know nothing of our plans for Christmas Eve, so it will be a nice surprise for them.  They have really gotten excited about our Christmas Day projects, and I am really excited to see them grow and learn to think about others before themselves.  (Of course, I try to teach them this every day of the year, but it really irritates me that self-centeredness and greediness run most rampant at the time of year when they should be least!)  As I tell the kids, how would you feel if a whole bunch of people came to our house on your birthday, and all brought presents for each other but nothing for you!?

More to come as our plans progress :-).

Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving with your friends and families!!