This Fall I read the boys Little House in The Big Woods. They really enjoyed it. I especially loved the chapter detailing the family's Christmas. I would love to have such a simple and joyous Christmas. One without all the commercialism and rush. I'd love to make all the gifts and get the same in return. The celebration of Christ's birth and the special visit from family was the main focus...as it should be. In today's world it is unimaginable that a child would receive mittens and a piece of candy...a single piece...and be content. And...the fact that Laura received a doll and the other children weren't jealous but happy for her is just amazing.
Each year I try to simplify things. To put the focus where it should be. It's hard! This year our decorations are about as simple as they've ever been. Since we are leaving on a trip we didn't want to have a big live tree and all the decorations out. So, this year we put out our tiny table top tree. Mr. P and Busy Guy made all the decorations for it. It looks beautiful and it was free...got to love that! The only other decoration is our Advent calendar. My mom bought it for the kids this year. I really love it. Each day a new piece is added to the scene (stars, angels, holy family, camels, wise men, shepherds, sheep, donkey, inn-keeper, cow and of course baby Jesus). The kids are very excited each day taking turns and talking about Christ's birth. So much better than one filled with candy. I had contemplated putting candy in each door along with the Nativity piece. I'm so glad I didn't. The kids would have looked forward to the candy and the message would have been lost. Loving this new ritual. Now, wondering if I can make the kids mittens for Christmas and have them be overjoyed with them;)