preparing for Christmas

I got to teach Sunday School this week and the lesson was on David and Jonathan, how a friend loves at all times and a true friend helps us obey God. Elsie wanted to show all of her Santa Lucia stuff, so we talked about how Lucia was a friend by giving food and helping her friends obey God. And then we talked about Jesus, how God sent his son to be our friend, to show us how to obey God. It was such a good lesson and I felt so grateful for Christmas, for Jesus coming to dwell among us. I am so grateful for the Law that shows us how live out our days on paths of righteousness. And when we fall short, as we all do daily, Jesus in our hearts is our hope of glory. We need this little baby to light up our daily darkness.

The lesson for the 3-6 year olds set my heart in the right place and for that I am so grateful.

My folks were here yesterday and I used the time to lock myself in the laundry room to wrap gifts. I told them they just gave me hours of sleep that I definitely would have lost this weekend, wrapping late into the night. This is the most prepared I've ever been (earliest wrapping for sure) and it feels great.

Also, I have never once regretted buying toys at summer garage sales for Christmas. Every August I wonder, will they still be into this? And every December I think, "you're brilliant. And thrifty." On top of the garage sales, this year I held a Gift Swap at a homeschool meeting. Each mom brought gifts they'd gladly pass along. We put them all on two tables. Then we drew numbers and got to go through the line and pick a new-to-you toy/puzzle/game. I brought six items so I got to go through the line six times. And as a result I had SIX gifts I didn't pay a thing for!

Other things happening this month: Ivar and Rory are staying up each night and reading The Hobbit together. Ivar is so excited about this time with his dad and then I get animated retellings of each chapter the next day. While they are reading, Elsie hangs out with me in my bed. And our time is basically her saying over and over, "I'm so sorry mom, I know you're sleeping but..." and then she tells me important things like how Madi was late to her birthday party at the Mall of America because Madi had a neighbor who needed help, but Chase was there on time and they didn't drive together because Chase came from his work, but Madi had a lot of traffic on the road but she made it for everything and even gave her high heels..."

Elsie's party was back in July.

Most evenings we light our Advent candles for dinner and then turn off all the lights after the meal and sing Christmas carols. Sometimes it is peaceful and calm. Sometimes the whole running around and turning off all the lights is a little rowdy (and a good lesson in how many lights we have on in our house...). Some nights we sing four or five songs. Some nights one is enough. But I love this tradition so much. We have to be clear about who will blow out the candles each night and set expectations accordingly. But that time with my family in the glow of candlelight is magical. I love this season.

No comments: