Monday, December 16, 2013

Simple Christmas Traditions

In light of the new addition to our family this month we are having a very simple Christmas season. No rushing about to concerts, rehearsals, lessons, and the like.  Our days are slow but full and any activities we attempt must be very simple, otherwise this Mama will not complete them.  I want to share with you some of the simple, beautiful things we've been doing in between naps (for me, too! heavenly!), loads of laundry (it's amazing how many things a small person can dirty....including an impressive array of things he's peed on from across the room), bottles/meals and homeschooling.

Each morning I read aloud from a beloved Christmas book while the big kids work on a simple project. This reading time includes everything from favorite picture books to medium-length chapter books. One of our favorite book series is "The Laura Books" (aka The Little House on the Prairie series).  The kids and I are currently reading The Little House Christmas Treasury.  It is a collection of the Christmas chapters of all of the Laura Books. We all adore the simple, beautiful Christmases described by Laura and the humble gratitude her family feels for the gifts they recieve.  One of my favorite moments is when Laura and Mary recieve their own tin cups (previously they'd been sharing a cup), a piece of candy, a tiny cake (made with white sugar and flour, a huge treat!) AND a penny in their stockings.  This is the extent of their Christmas and the girls are overwhelmed with the splendor of it all.  It's too much! The simplicity of these tales is inspiring.

During this read aloud/crafty time we have worked on several different projects. Ellie and Ethan have made snowflakes aplenty, which are still waiting patiently to be hung.  They've colored pictures of the nativity, painted popsicle-stick snowflake ornaments and created winter scenes out of clay.  This morning they completed our favorite project to date: a beautiful paper nativity from Made by Joel:
I love, love, love his creations, and our kids can't get enough. We have plans to work on more of his projects in the future.

More projects on the docket during this read aloud time include:
more Nativity Coloring pages
make thank you cards to send out after Christmas
Pipe Cleaner Christmas trees
Painting with Q-Tips (similar to this, but with a Christmas tree)
Perler Beads (here is a list of fun Christmas patterns)

We're also loving a radio series from Classical 89: Christmas Chronicles.  Simple, fun, hope-inspiring stories. They definitely lean more toward the Santa side of the holiday, but they are still a delightful addition to the season.  

Everything about our holiday is more simple this year, including gifts (agency adoptions are expensive, friends). But we have still made time for the traditions that matter most to us and will provide long-lasting memories for our children. 

Sugar cookie baking is very high on that list.

What simple ways are you celebrating this season?


  1. That's THE Little House moment I think of during every Christmas season! I even blogged about it a few years ago... it's what keeps me from going COMPLETELY nuts this time of year. Love your traditions, love the simplicity, love the family!

  2. Were you hanging from the rafters to get those pictures? LOL! That all sounds so great! We look forward to Christmas Chronicles on the radio every year and we haven't caught it this year. Is it over?

    1. No, but I was standing on the table :) If you go to the Christmas Chronicles link I shared, you can stream all the episodes online anytime. Yay!

  3. I cry whenever I read that part in Little House!! I love it. And I love Made by Joel, too. :)

    1. It's definitely one of my favorite Little House moments!