I would like to share a little bit of our Christmas traditions with you. My house is currently upside down as the contractor tries to finish things up on my side and on my mom's side of the house. As a result we have a living room that is torn apart and a kitchen that is also torn apart. These two rooms are vital to most of our Christmas traditions of baking and tree decorating and such I have had to think hard about how to make our Home have the Christmas spirit for my children. I was feeling a little blue about this until my little ones reminded me about a book my sister Eileen made for me. She made it with her Relief Society group and has been one of our all time favorite Christmas gifts ever. It is an advent book filled with stories, songs and scriptures about Christmas. Each day has a scripture that tells you about the birth of Christ, a religious Christmas carol and an inspirational story. Last night being the first night, we read "The Last Straw". It is one of our favorites. I can't find an exact copy of the story but this one is close enough to what we read. The mother in the story is frustrated with the bickering her children do so much of and how it is killing the Christmas spirit in her home. She remembers a tradition from her childhood where the family would put straws into a cradle to prepare for the arrival of the Christ child. Each straw represented a good deed done by family members for each other. The family drew names each week and then did secret acts of kindness for that family member all week. It really is a charming little story. We changed it a little and this year we get to put pennies in a piggy bank for each act of kindness we do. On Christmas day we get to open the bank and count out what we did and the use that in the next week to do something as a family to celebrate a month of family kindness. The kids are hoping to save enough pennies to go do JJ's and get an ice cream cone. :o) I love how they enjoy simple pleasures and weren't greedy asking for an X Box or something like that. Sweet! Here is the list of things we read last night in case you want to read them too as a family.
Scripture: Isaiah 7:14 ".......Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."