Last weekend we celebrated St. Nicholas’ Day (our first time ever), and Henry got gold coins and a note from St. Nick in his shoes. Ole Saint Nick wanted to drop a line to check in, since his elf, Poppin, has been keeping an eye on things around here, and after a few reports.
On Saint Nicholas’ Day eve, we set up the nativity and read a bit from Luke on what Christmas is, talking about the reason we give gifts at Christmas (because God gave us the gift of his son, the wise men gave him gifts, etc.).
We have never really celebrated St. Nicholas Day or advent in my family, but I’ve been trying to find ways to teach Henry what Christmas is and to chill with the gifts and focus more on the holiday and the family. So, we are learning about advent traditions, and are using St. Nick and the nativity as teaching tools.
Right now, the manger is empty, Mary and Joseph are on their way to the stable, and the wise men and shepherd are way out “East” on the buffet. Each week we are moving Mary and Joseph further “West,” until Christmas when Jesus will make his appearance. The wise men get until January 6th to get there.
Henry has been getting excited as each of the Christmas decorations has gone up. First were the stockings and Poppin’s arrival on the day after Thanksgiving. We started work on the paper chains and snowflakes.
We made pizzelles with Rick’s family on the 5th as well. This is my favorite thing the Schell/Goff family does during the year. Everyone comes together and stays up late making cookies with Rick’s great-grandmother’s recipe and pizzelle iron.
This weekend, we drove up to the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree. we were lucky enough to get to see Santa at the fire station on the way. Emmett loved the big man, but Henry was a bit nervous and wouldn’t sit with him unless I did too…
We found a great tree this year. It is a douglas fir, and when Rick cut it, it was about 12 feet tall. We are required to bring the whole tree home, so I will probably be using the bottom trimming for some greenery around the house.
Once we got the tree home, Rick trimmed it to size (7′-11″) and we started to decorate! This is by far the tallest tree I’ve ever had. The star is just barely touching the ceiling! Henry enjoyed making the popcorn and cranberry strings so much that he wanted to make more this morning too. But I think it was mostly so he could eat the popcorn. Emmett stayed entertained with the clean laundry on the couch.
Tonight we were invited to celebrate advent with some neighbors, and I’m excited to see how they do it in their home. Next year we hope to get an advent wreath to incorporate into our traditions. I’ve really been enjoying my friend Annie’s posts about how her family is getting ready for Christmas.
What holiday traditions do you do? How do you teach your kids about Christmas, and what are you doing to get ready?