Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

We did some things a little different this year with the kiddo's on Christmas Eve. The past couple of years our tradition has been to take the kids to a movie (something we do only once or twice a year) or bowling with friends. Not wanting to do this with the 4 hour commute to go along with it we opted out and did some things different.

My kids have a few favorite treats that they like to help make. In stead of making them earlier in the week I purposely put these off until today.

One of Hunter's favorite treats is dipping pretzels in melted chocolate. Right after breakfast was cleaned up he and I started making these treats. Of course it wasn't too long before the girls came in to investigate. We weren't going to exclude them by any means but more often than not one of the girls is always helping me in the kitchen. It was nice to have a little alone time with just Hunter and I doing something together.
When Hunter's treats were finished we moved on to Madelyn's favorite treat. I have heard several different names for these but we call them turtles.

She placed a rolo candy on top of a pretzel, put the pan in the oven for about 2 minutes. We pulled the pan out and then smashed a m&m or pecan on top. Way yummy! All the kiddo's helped make her treats too.

While I was cleaning up the mess of the treat making Madelyn got a little silly and creative.

Can you guess who she is?
In no time at all it became lunch time. Wanting to do something a little different than the norm we ALL made homemade pizza.

Madelyn LOVES working at the stove. She quickly volunteered to get the sausage ready while the little ones helped me roll out the dough. Due to sticky fingers I didn't get any pictures of my little helpers!

Hunter put our pizza together.

Boy did it turn out yummy!

After lunch our plan was to play some games together but..... a phone call from an Uncle took my big kids away. They were invited to go sledding! Who can blame them for ditching the family?

I didn't get any pictures but was told over and over how much fun they had.

Come Christmas Eve each year it seems that Kory and I have the same converstation. We wonder if we taught our kids the "true meaning" of Christmas or did we let the wordly view get in the way?Over the past few years we've tried many things but I don't know if any of them have been the right way for our family. At the same time I've wondered if it's becuase of their young age that I feel like we "loose" the true meaning. It seems like with all the shopping and seeing Santa at stores, the tv commercials about the newest and latest toy and all the hype at school for Santa among there piers I feel like our views of Christmas is a little outweighted. I sometimes would ask myself if we even have a chance with all the outside world influence?

This year I spent hours on the internet reading up on other's idea's of keeping the "true meaning" of Christmas in there home. I took a few idea's and combined them together. It was such a hit that this will become our newest tradition during the Christmas Season. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures so I'll just have to tell you what we did....

Before Dec. 1 the kids and I for a FHE made a paper chain leading up to Christmas Day. Pretty ordinary right? What we did different this year was put a scripture about Christ on the inside of each paper chain. Each night before bed we turned off ALL lights, sat around the kitchen table and read the scripture by candle light. Each child had a "day". On there day they got to change the Christmas countdown block, offer all the prayers that day, pull off the chain, light the candle, help read the scripure and then blow out the candle. Blowing out that candle was the biggest event of the day! At the beginning of the month our scriptures were stories of miracles that Christ performed or parables that he taught. It was interesting to hear what our young children thought what the parable might mean. It was GREAT to hear the wonder in their voice when they would ask Christ really did that? Some of the stories they had heard before but lots of them were new to them. Of course the closer we got to Christmas Day the scriptures were leading up to Christ's birth. It was such a simple thing for our family to do. I was REALLY suprised at how well the kids took this new tradtion. They looked forward to our night reading and WANTED to do it despite that late hour we had some nights. It was awsome.

So back to our Christmas Eve.... come about 7 o'clock we read our last scripture chain by candle light. We then went to my bedroom and watched the Living Scriptures animated movie The King Is Born. The movie was less than 20 minutes long and almost followed this past weeks scripture reading. It was great to hear the kids say "hey, I read that part". Watching the movie was a great way to finish off our Christmas Eve. I went to bed asking myself that same question "Did we teach our children the "true meaning" of Christmas? This year I had no hesitation. I know we did a good job!

After the movie we followed it up with our last tradition of the season. The kiddo's got to open up one gift.

Of course that gift was there new pair of pajama's.

Emily was the most excited about her pajama's. I think it had something to do with the matching pajama for her baby doll.

For some reason I didn't get a picture of all the kids together in there new pajama's.

I don't know what I was thinking!


The Gubler Family said...

We had that same tradition for years. We would read a different Christmas story every night. My kids favorite part was also blowing out the candles. Now that my kids have gotten older, things have gotten so busy and it has been hard to do it every night. We only got to do it 3 or 4 times this year. I think I am the one that missed it the most.