I love this time of year. Laci is at such a great age for Christmas. I love doing the Christmas-y stuff with her - decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping, etc. I was always given tons and tons of toys and gifts at Christmas. Looking back, it was too much. I am working so hard to not spoil her too much. But it is so hard to not get too much when there is so much great stuff out there to get. It's hard to determine what is too much.
Laci told me last night that Christmas is about giving. She learned that at school. I am glad she knows that. I want to teach my kids all aspects of Christmas besides the gifts and Santa - Jesus, Giving, Traditions, Family, etc. Every year I get an angel from the church tree. I want Laci to participate in shopping and giving for others but she hasn't shown much interest yet. We do Advent Candles every night at dinner. I would like to get a small devotional for families / children to do with them, maybe next year. So we just say a prayer. She loves lighting the candles and every night begs to light the pink one. It's hard to remind her to wait until this Sunday! This has actually gotten her to eat dinner at the table with us, something I have struggled with lately. I might keep candles at the table year round. One of our family traditions was to always the light the advent candle at church on the second week. This year we have a new pastor and families are not lighting the Advent candles. I don't have an issue with change and I like what he has done. But he killed our family Christmas tradition! I laughed because this year on the second Sunday he lit the Advent candles with the 4 year old class. So at least one Hart got to participate. I wish I had better pictures but I just gotten a new phone and didn't know how to zoom. Fortunately, an older lady at McDonald's was able to teach me later that afternoon.
I also want to teach the kids to give to each other. This weekend, I told Laci that she can pick something out for Calvin and Calvin will pick something out for her. She told me that she will shop in the baby section and Calvin should go to the Princess / Barbie section. I will also have her pick something out for Charlie. This morning, Charlie asked her what she wanted to get me for Christmas. She has an idea that he said he is discouraging or "tweaking". He didn't tell me what it is. He did say that she is continuing to beg him to get me a fish for my birthday. My birthday is in May and she has been asking to give me a fish for my birthday since before my last birthday. He was hoping she would forget. She doesn't forget anything. I told him to go ahead and get me a small fish tank and fish for my birthday. We aren't pet people but I think we can handle a fish.
To me Christmas is about the entire month of December and all the activities to get ready for it and not just the day. I love watching our families traditions evolve and new ones continue or start every year. I am sure I will have more as the month continues.