Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday's Top 10: A Few of my Favorite Things

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  There are so many traditions, events, and programs during this month that our calendar gets quickly filled.  But we always try to make time for a few favorite activities.  This list is dedicated to those traditions and activities that keep us focused on the true meaning of Christmas. 

Here is one of our favorite quotes from How The Grinch Stole Christmas...
"Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store,
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

Tuesday's Top 10:  Favorite Christmas Activities

1.  Cookie Day
One Saturday each December our entire family gets together to bake ALL day.  The women and children are in the kitchen and the men pop in occasionally to "taste test" everything. :)  After all of the goodies are made, we create baskets and tins to give to friends, neighbors, church family, etc.

Cookie Day 2011

2.  Picking our Christmas tree
Each year we love to set aside a day to trim our tree.  We haven't gone the path of artificial trees like most of our family. ;)  So we head outdoors to find the perfect tree. And then begins the fun of looking through all of our ornaments and remembering when and where they were bought...or who created them. 

3.  Setting out the Nativity together
Growing up I can remember setting out the nativity scene with my mother every Christmas.  As I would set each person and animal inside the stable, she would retell the Christmas story.  Then when I sprinkled the hay all around it was complete. :)  I love doing this with my own kids so much!  They listen as I tell the story and now they add the people with careful fingers.  And then Memphis Belle give Baby Jesus "sugar."  (That's a kiss for anyone not from the south).

4.  Riding to look at Christmas lights
We all load up in the car (once we all piled into the RV) and go on a hunt for the most decorated neighborhoods.  We love seeing the beautiful homes and streets covered in bright, merry lights.

5.  Watching Christmas Musicals
Hearing the Christmas story told in song is wonderful...whether by children or adults.  We enjoy these each year and look forward to them.

Crazy Horse in 2011

6.  Giving to others through our advent calendar
This year I am working to focus our attention on giving to others.  Yes, the kids still make a list.  But we want them to know the joy and blessing of giving to others and not just in receiving.  Here are some ways we are doing that:  Giving our time to ring the bell for Salvation Army, leaving kind messages and goody bags for neighbors, giving a thank-you note and candy to the garbage man, etc.  More of these activities will come as we continue with our advent calendar (each day is a way for the kids to give, help, and share with others).

Old Crow in 2012

7.  Reading our favorite Christmas stories
Let me paint this picture...cozy fire crackling, soft Christmas songs playing, fuzzy pajamas on sweet-smelling babies, all cuddled together on our clean couch.  That's how I'd like to picture it too, but usually it isn't quite so picturesque.  :)  But no matter how cluttered the floor is, active my boys are, and that the weather is 80 degrees we love to sit together and read our favorite Christmas books.  Twas the Night Before Christmas, The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, J is for Jesus, The Christmas Story, The Spirit of Christmas

8.  Our 25 names for Jesus ornaments
We are only on day 4, but I love our time together with this activity.  We sit around our smaller Christmas tree and add our new ornament with another name for Jesus.  Today was Mighty God.  We read Isaiah 9:6 and discussed what it means to be mighty.  Oh, the answers I get from 2 little boys. :)  You can read about our 25 Names for Jesus Activity here.

9.  Packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
One movie the kids love is VeggieTales: Saint Nicholas: The Story of Joyful Giving.  At the beginning of this movie is a clip about Operation Christmas Child.  It tells of this ministry and shows children in other countries receiving the gift-filled boxes.  So when it came time to fill the shoeboxes we would send, they were excited and new exactly what our goal was.  We headed to the store and the boys thoughtfully (with a little redirection) picked items to go in their shoeboxes. 

10.  Buying through the Gospel for Asia catalog
I love when the Christmas gift catalog from Gospel for Asia comes in the mail.  We are all able to look through it and see how both the spiritual and physical needs can be met in unreached people groups in Asia.  They can see what a few chickens, goats, lambs, and cows can mean to someone.  We then decide on what we would like to buy and give.  Take a look at their catalog. :)  

Well those are a few of our favorite things!
Wishing you a Merry Christmas,

P.S.  You can check out other Tuesday Top 10s at Many Little Blessings link-up.


  1. What great holiday traditions! I especially like the 25 names for Jesus as an Advent calendar activity. Thank you for sharing this (must pin, to remember for next year...).

    Blessings to you -

    ~ Kim

    1. Thank you for reading! I enjoyed visiting your site and have it bookmarked. :)