I can't believe that it's December 1st already. Where has this year gone? It seems like Christmas gets here faster with each year that passes!
In celebration of this festive month, I thought I'd share a few piccys of our Christmas decorations. :) (Some of this may be a bit repetitive from previous years, so bear with me.) ;)
Here is our lovely tree. We had a great time setting it up and decorating it last weekend. :)
There are many special ornaments that grace our tree's branches. I thought I'd take the time to share just a few of them with you:
This little ornament was one I gave to Hubby when we were still in high school and just dating. I wrote a story to go along with it (which he still has). I was a little bit nervous about giving him a cutesy mouse ornament, but he still ended up marrying me, so it must not have been too bad. ;)
This is Pinky. She's a little bear (or maybe mouse?) ornament that was always my very favorite when I was a little girl. She's made out of cheap plastic covered with flocking, and she's dingy from years of use, but I still love her. Every time I hang her on the tree, it brings me back to those Christmases when I was a child, hanging ornaments with my little brother. :)
This unicorn was another of my childhood ornaments. I love his festive red and green horn.
Of course, my tree has several Beauty and the Beast ornaments. :) This is one of my favorites.
Snow White is Middle Gal's favorite princess...she loves hanging this one up.
I really love this Giselle ornament from the Disney Store. It's huge, but so elegant.
This was one of my Christmas gifts from my mom and dad a couple of Christmases ago. When you turn the golden handle in front, the princes and princesses go through the archway together.
I always love putting out my crocheted snowman family. My grandma made a family like this for my mom and dad, and I always loved it growing up. When I got married, my mom asked one of the ladies in our church to make me my own family. She made an additional snowman for each of my younger two daughters the Christmases after they were born.
When Hubby and I were first married, we invested in a couple of the beautiful Nativity sets sold at Costco. We both felt it was important to have a visual reminder of the purpose of the Christmas season. The girls love watching me unpack the Nativity Scene each year. Here is the main part, displayed on the piano.
One thing that's become a yearly tradition is that Oldest Gal always makes a star to hang over the Nativity Scene. :)
I also had to share this picture. When I was in college, I worked at our local Christian book store. In 2001, Morgan Weistling painted this painting, entitled: "Kissing the Face of God". It depicts Mary tenderly kissing Baby Jesus' face. I absolutely fell in love with the painting, but it was way too expensive for my college budget. ;) Thankfully, the print was made into an oversized Christmas card a few years ago, so now I have my own little framed copy. :)
Another tradition we have is to put the Wise Men in a separate location from the rest of the Nativity. It is likely that Baby Jesus was around 2 years old when the Wise Men came to bring him their gifts. We also have 4 Wise Men because we don't really know how many there were (people just assume there were three because of the three gifts and the popular Christmas carol "We Three Kings"). :)
Yet another tradition we enjoy is counting down to Christmas with our advent calendars. This year, we have three, so each of the gals will get to do a calendar each day. :)
This little snowman always shows up somewhere in my living room. He was a gift from my best friend, and I always think of her when I put him out. :)
I usually hang these glittery ornaments to these shelves to give them a dash of Christmas cheer. :)
Even the dolls are all decked out for Christmas! :D Yesterday, I finally got their little tree up and got everyone in their holiday finery.
Tess and Maggie should have a post up soon on their blog describing their Christmas preparations. :)
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but as I've gotten older, I've gained a better understanding of how hard it is to keep the true "Reason for the Season" in the center of our celebration. It's easy to get so caught up in the decorating, the shopping, the Christmas program practices, and the parties and activities that we forget the whole purpose of Christmas: remembering Christ's birth as a human baby. Of course, He didn't remain a baby, "wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger"...He grew up and died on a cruel cross, taking the punishment for our sins on Himself. On the third day, He rose again, triumphant over death.
My earnest prayer, this season and always, is that I would remember the amazing reason I have to celebrate: I am a child of the King who loved me enough to die for me.
More posts to come! :)