I am using the Advent countdown from @momstoolbox. You can find the complete calendar countdown at http://www.momstoolbox.com/blog/2011/11/18/advent-activities-for-moms-and-families/
Get ready for Christmas part 1:
Spend some time thinking about what you like about Christmas. Write down your thoughts.
There is so much about this time of year I enjoy and look forward to. It seems that everyone has an extra spring in their step. People are filled with joy and compassion. Children are sparkle eyed and even some adults still have that Christmas morning anticipation (my husband and I included).
The sights of Christmas….
We go all out for this season. Yard decorations, lights, 5 Christmas trees, Trains, etc… I love the look of Christmas. One of my favorite activities is a family tradition we have done ever since I was a small child. The week before Christmas we would load up in the car with hot chocolate, blaring Christmas carols and drive around town viewing all of the Christmas decor. The time spent as a family will be remembered for ever.
The smells of Christmas…
I grew up on a small farm at the edge of my small town. Every year my dad would take me out in the pasture and let me pick out my own little Christmas tree. Most of the time they were “Charlie Brown” style, but that didn’t matter, they were special to me. I would decorate my room up while mom worked on the rest of the house. That fresh cedar smell would fill my room. I would leave the lights on all night long and go to sleep staring at that tree. The other smells of Christmas were also wonderful. The cakes, cookies, candies, etc… Were all nice but nothing says Christmas to me like a fresh cut tree. We have not continued this tradition since I have little hands that go to their mouths but hopefully maybe next year the girls can go to that same pasture and pick out their tree!
The tastes of Christmas…
This is probably my favorite! My grandmother had a tradition of making homemade cinnamon bread and sending it to all her children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. She would start the week after Thanksgiving baking and freezing the loaves. She would wrap them tightly in tin foil and attach a festive bow. The week before Christmas she would send them in the mail. My aunts, uncles and cousins would wait in anticipation for them to arrive. I remember stories of them opening the mail box and being so thrilled. As she aged I was able to help her prepare these gifts and take part in the “Joy” sending! I have continued this tradition on a much smaller scale. This has become my go to gift for friends and close family at holiday gatherings.
Another favorite taste of Christmas is my mother’s homemade licorice. She and I always made many festive Christmas goodies, but I loved the licorice. We would make a big batch and wrap it to stick in the stockings of my cousins. I never had to wait until Christmas I always got to enjoy a taste early. That smooth and creamy, caramel like texture still makes my mouth water. I am so glad my daughters are now able to join in on the holiday baking.
The sounds of Christmas…
I am and always have been a music lover. So naturally I love Christmas music. I look forward to participating in the church Christmas pageant and have been involved since a young child. When I married my husband, his family introduced me to “Trans-Siberian Orchestra”. Why it took so long, who knows? But I instantly was in love. I blast it all year round. I am so excited to celebrate 5yrs of marriage the week before Christmas at one of their concerts! (And enjoy a little get away with my hubby too!)
I love the memories of Christmas gone by, making them with my children, and wondering what future Christmases will have in store!