Monday, December 3, 2007

New Traditions


Four years? That seems impossible. I still look completely blank when others mention a street name in town.  Only when I see Aidan, a little two year old in that first photo, do I realize we've been here a while.

The Light Parade has become an annual tradition, and gets better every year, in a very small town, low expectations kind of way. We meet friends at a local place that offers a pizza & salad bar. Pizza by the slice in all kinds of combos, including honey chicken and Buffalo. Very yummy and an easy place to take kids. We had a "kids" table this year, while adults got to actually enjoy a beer (except me--oy!) and conversation. One of many moments when we can't help thinking that our lives were about to get much easier...but baby here we come!


My mom sent a stocking full of Christmas themed socks when Sean was a babe. Last year I saw Kelli Crowe create an advent calendar using socks and loved the idea of putting those cute socks to use again. Aidan helped number the clothespins with little stickers. The idea is that I drop a little note in the next day's sock each night, and the boys rush to it to learn what awaits them that day. We're talking little things...cocoa with all the fixings that night, or bringing cookies to their favorite neighbor Carol. Or simply two little candy canes when I don't have my act together (hopefully that won't mean 20+ days of candy canes!).

I've been seeing lots of different ideas---using boxes ala Ali Edwards (who also includes a PDF from Shannon Arnold of idea to put in the socks ), or even little origami shoes at Blue Yonder, a site I've only recently discovered and am still exploring (and stealing from). Lots of inspiration from Jessica Sprague, who also suggested including a line of scripture each day. A nice, non-overwhelming way to introduce the story. Another blog new to me, Uncommon Grace links to several variations, but I'm stealing her idea of "a little elf who travels from stocking to stocking day by day as a visual aid to the passing of the days."

Mainly, I just like the way it celebrates the season, instead of all the emphasis (and pressure) on one big day.


My mom tells a story about she and her brother Walter saved their dimes to buy a plastic nativity set from the local drug store when they were little. While growing up, we were always allowed to set up the nativity scene under the tree, and then rearrange it and set it up again, and again, even though it was a beautiful Fontanini-like set. While we were in Russia, my mother-in-law made us an all-white ceramic set that is lovely, but not very child-friendly. She actually sent the kids a Fisher Price Little People set this year, but I had already ordered the one above. I love that it is made of wood, very child-friendly, but still invokes some reverence. Part of what we loved about playing with my mother's set under the tree was that it clearly wasn't a toy.

Blognote: Please email me if the playlist is slowing down your loading of the site, or just plain annoying. I love sharing new (to me) song discoveries, but I can change it to not play automatically. Thanks!

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