Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas at our house

Here's a few snapshots of Christmas at the Williams' house. I thought you'd like to see how we celebrate Christmas!

A celebration of family traditions
Every year the kids and I make a Christmas village. It's a 3D jigsaw, and every child has one house to make. I grew up with a cardboard village we put up at Christmas time, so it's a tradition for me - and fun for them.

A celebration of family memories
One family tradition which I adore and Steve tolerates for my sake (he doesn't like pine needles around the house!) is a real Christmas tree. The kids and I go to the local nursery and pick out the most beautiful tree, Steve helps us put it up, and we decorate it together.

What's really special about our tree is that every decoration has a memory attached. Some are from my family home. Some I made as a child. Every year, the children make more. Every year, I buy one or two.

As we hang them on the tree, the memories emerge: "Remember the year we made those windows out of beads? Remember when Lizzy made those stars? Remember how that sequinned star was one of our first Christmas decorations? Remember the year Jenny sewed that angel for me?"

A celebration of God's salvation
This year, I designed a Jesse Tree to make in our Sunday School class (I'd like to do a bit more work on it, and share it with you next December). Every day (or every 2nd day!) Steve and I tell the kids the next part of God's story of salvation, read a promise about Jesus, and look at a verse from the New Testament showing how Jesus fulfils both story and promise.

For a long time, I've wanted one of those wooden Christmas scenes with drawers for the Jesse Tree verses and ornaments, so I was excited to find one on sale a month ago. In the drawers go the Jesse Tree verses, some lollies, and a little figure for the nativity scene.

A celebration of Jesus
Our big nativity scene has been collected piece by piece over many years. What a pleasure it is every year to open the boxes, unearth the precious pieces from their polystyrene packing, and arrange them on our shelf!

Our nativity scene is a daily reminder that Christmas is all about Jesus: God's gift of his only Son, God in human form, living with us, and dying in our place to bring us eternal life.



Rachach said...

Hi Jean,
I'm so jealous!
I've been wanting to do the Jesse Tree with my kids ever since I heard of the concept. But my kids are too young and I don't have the time with a baby to be able to do it yet, so I'll have to wait a few years!
What verses do you use? the traditional catholic ones or a modification?
Can I get a copy of what you did for Sunday School?
Your tree, little village, jesse tree and advent calender are all so beautiful! The kids must love Christmas as much as you do!
Love Rach

Jean said...

Hi Rach!

I've modified and added to the verses. Yes, you can have a copy. As I say, I'm not happy with it yet, but when am I ever happy?! I'll give you what I have now, and the "perfected" version once I get it right - with Steve's help.

Love Jean.

Jean said...

Oh, and it's closer to the one in Barbara Hughes "Disciplines of a godly family" than the catholic one. There are huge numbers of versions on line, and I used them all. I can search out the links if you like.

Rachach said...

Thanks Jean.
I'd love a copy of the verses you use. I'll look in Hughes' book!