Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas/Advent/Solstice

We celebrate Advent in our own way. We haven't yet done the wreath, candles, and weekly reading of the Nativity, though we do read the Nativity story each year & plan to get (or make) an Advent wreath. We use it as a way to keep the Christmas season from becoming stressful, overwhelming, & making us not want to celebrate. We read Christmas stories/books, watch Christmas movies, donate to local organizations, do fun, family activities, and keep the focus on what Christmas is to us & not on the commercialization we're bombarded with starting before Halloween. So, the whole month of December is basically a celebration of Christmas, for us. We also celebrate the Winter Solstice. However, that is generally more of a low-key thing, since there seems to be a shortage of Solstice themed movies, shows, and books.

Books:
A Season of Gifts
A Child's Christmas in Wales
Christmas Treasury
The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas
The Gift of the Magi
The Family Under the Bridge
A Christmas Carol
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
T'was the Night Before Christmas
The Christmas Box

Movies:
A Christmas Carol
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
The Polar Express
A Very Merry Pooh Year
Seasons of Giving
The Bishop's Wife
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Frosty the Snowman

Activities:
Drive around looking at Christmas decorations/lights
Go the the Festival of Lights our city does each year
Christmas Scrabble
Holiday Word Puzzles
Buy food to donate to the food bank
Read holiday poems
Learn some Christmas Carols
Make Christmas & Solstice decorations

Meals:
We haven't actually decided on Christmas or Solstice dinner, yet. All I know fir certain is that the meals will be simple. Our year has been pretty stressful and we've had some financial struggles. So, we have decided that our goal for all the holidays this year is simplicity.

Gifts:
In keeping with our goal of simplicity, we went very light on gifts this year. The kids are each getting 2 things, and my husband & I are each getting one. I also picked up some candy for our stockings. Not one things cost more than $10. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't get my husband more pieces for his Nativity scene, but I will get him one next year. The kids aren't upset at all about not getting much. Luckily, we have some pretty un-materialistic kids.