Fill a basket with Christmas books and place in your family room. This makes it convenient for you and your kids to grab a book for some fun holiday reading. Have story-time and read aloud in front of a snap…crackle…pop…fire! Don’t forget the popcorn! Hand out a blank piece of paper and crayons and have the kids draw something from the story.
Hello my blog-girls! Thank you all so much for your encouragement! Being new at this blog-thing, I have found a whole world of gracious girls so willing to send a kind word and lots of joy! It is so refreshing!
I have been so busy this week decorating up a storm along with my “delightful daily domestic duties”. I still have bins overflowing with sparkly candy canes, frosty pine branches, cotton snow, and angels-we-have-heard-on-high. It’s a lot of work creating Christmas-land, but I am in my element! I love the excitement and anticipation of the joy to come. The joy of surrounding my family with the beauty and truth of Christmas. Creating an environment that they want to come home to, not escape from. Not only in the decorations but a warm and welcoming spirit of love and laughter…the things that make the kind of memories we all will treasure. (This is what Warm Pie, Happy Home means. Keeping home sweet. )
Things don’t have to be perfect. Go with the flow. Have fun. Let the kids help. So what if they don’t do things the way you would do them. They are not supposed to, they’re kids! One year when my youngest daughter Summer Rose was 3, she decorated the bottom left side of the tree with candy canes…all of the candy canes. Of course the tree looked lopsided, but it was ADORABLY lopsided! Stay happy! A cheerful mom makes a cheerful home.
You know, everything we do to care for our homes and families is so important, no matter how small, it makes a difference. It sends a message. Even if it doesn’t seem like it now, all the ways you bless your home will add up one day and in turn will come back to bless you. It’s the whole sowing-the-seed and reaping-the-harvest truth. Plant nurturing seeds of kindness… love… laughter…forgiveness… thankfulness…comfort…. beauty… and you will reap the blessings. And most importantly we need to plant the seeds of God’s Love into the hearts of our children. Christmas time is a wonderful time to share the dearest story ever told. There is no Christmas without Christ. (take Christ away and all you have is _ _ _ _ _ _mas. What’s “mas”? See what I mean?)
On my coffee table, I have a few of my favorite things. A glowing Christmas-Pine scented candle, a bowl of clove-studded oranges…a tradition my kids have loved through the years. While I am working in the kitchen they sit at the counter and poke holes in an orange with a fork or ballpoint pen, creating their own designs and then insert whole cloves. It perfumes the room with the most delicious aroma. It also calms them down, releases their creativity and fills them with a warm sense of home.
And then I have a few of my favorite books to browse along with a hot cup of something yummy.
But this is my most favorite thing. Sweet Baby Jesus laying in a manger. Oh Honey! (that is what my family says when we see or hear something so absolutely adorable! Oh Honey!!) Here He is, sleeping peacefully on a soft bed of straw. Wrapped so cozy in His swaddling clothes. His cradle bears a cross above His head which points to heaven…reminding us why He came.
You will see another basket filled with straw. This is a wonderful tradition I learned from the queen of homemakers, Emilie Barnes. You set out the manger and hide baby Jesus away until Christmas morning (just don’t forget where you put Him!) The basket of straw is to prepare the bed for the birth of the King. For each good deed or kind action, the child has the privilege of taking a bit of that straw and placing it in the manger to make it softer for baby Jesus. It provides an opportunity for our little ones to practice goodness and kindness and sends the message that something very important is coming! Jesus’ birthday!
Plan a time every evening during the month of December( or as often as you can), perhaps just before bedtime, and create an exciting “Ceremony” as you gather around the manger to take turns adding the straw. Applaud your kids for the goodness they have shown throughout the day. Yay! Talk about the Christmas story, about God’s love and His joy when He see’s His children loving one another. This will add up to a month of learning the true meaning of Christmas…a month of sowing seeds of kindness through good deeds… and a lifetime of family memories. Don’t you just know that puts a smile on the Lord’s face!
Baby Jesus is made from a nylon stocking, filled with batting. The eyelids, nose and mouth are painted on. Then He is wrapped with a piece of muslin. You could use a simple basket for his manger.
Good news from heaven the angels bring,
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.
Wherever your treasure is,
there your heart and thoughts
will also be.
Jesus is my treasure.
I thank Him for the gifts He so generously gives… salvation… mercy… love… forgiveness..heaven… joy… peace… love… my wonderful husband Gary…and my four adorable children (oh honey!)… and a million things more…
Here is Dusty on the left, J.J. ,little Summer Rose and Ashley. Dusty is married to my wonderful daughter in law Kimmy, and Ashley is married to my wonderful son in law Glen. (Kimmy and Glen are blessings sent from God to our family!!) In a future post I will include a picture of the whole family!
Here’s Ashley at age four, dressed in her apron, baking chocolate cookies. ( she is now age 23!)
Thanks for stopping by for pie!
God bless, you cute girls you!