Tuesday, December 11, 2012

jolly holiday :: jessica + a giveaway!

this week, i've asked on of my dear friends jessica to share with us. i love jessica. we have been "real life" friends for a while now and i love her because we can have a really great time laughing and have a really good conversation with a lot of depth as well. she challenges me and inspires me in more ways than one. i hope you enjoy what she shares today. 
Hi Katygirl readers! I'm Jessica and I blog over at Changing Seasons. I was so excited to write something for Jolly Holiday when Katygirl asked me. Hers is one of my favorite blogs and she's also a great friend of mine in "real life." 

But as the time drew near I struggled with what to write...I mean everything about Christmas is wonderful, the music, the lights, family, gift giving, and most importantly our Saviors birth. 

What I love about these things is that for us their all intertwined. Their our traditions and it's these traditions that teach us and focus our hearts on our Savior. 

Caleb and I come from families with strong, long reigning traditions. It's so fun combining them and make our own. We decorate our Christmas tree the same way my Great Grandfather did. We make Wasil just like Yiayia does. The first thing we do Christmas morning is sit in front of the fireplace and read the Christmas story just like my dad did with us. We believe traditions give a sense of belonging. It ties us to our past and we love that.

 Most of our traditions somehow point to Christ's birth, but my favorite is our family devotion time each night.  During the month of December we do Advent with the kids. Opening a window of the nativity scene with a new verse on it, learning Christmas hymns and reading all about the Christmas story. 

The best part though is the days following. That's when I hear the truths that we talk about at night taking root in their little hearts. Nay sings, O Come, O Come Emmanuel to her dolly and Elijah plays Lego's and I hear him telling his toys about Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. 

This is when it becomes real. This is the start of them understanding that Jesus came to pay the price for our sins. That we're not just celebrating the birth of a baby, but that Jesus came for one purpose, to seek and save the lost.  

One of my favorites books that I look at time and time again is, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, by Noel Piper. It really helped me think and be purposeful in our family traditions and what we'd pass along to the next generation. I especially love the book at Christmas and would love to give a copy to one of Katygirls readers. So, leave a comment with a favorite Tradition of yours and I'll pick a winner!

yay! thank you, jessica! 
you heard her! just leave a comment with your favorite tradition to be entered into the giveaway!
i will pick a winner on monday. :)


  1. My favorite Christmas tradition happens on Christmas Eve...everyone gets new pajamas and a snuggly blanket!

  2. I don't know that I really have a favorite tradition, I just love spending time with family at Christmas. I do love going to the tree farm and cutting down a tree (still trying to convince my husband that needs to be a tradition!)

  3. favorite tradition? we have celebrated christmas on christmas eve the last few years. it's my favorite.
    also my sister picks up sprinkles cupcakes for us that night. so that helps too. :)

    i LOVE your christ centered traditions!!! especially starting christmas morning with the christmas story! BEAUTIFUL :)

  4. Every year the kids and I drive around our town with mugs of hot chocolate and look at Christmas lights. Swoon.

  5. i always love reading about other's family traditions! my favorite christmas tradition is getting together with family, cousins and friends to decorate christmas cookies every year!


  6. My favorite Christmas tradition is getting to have a slumber party/camping in the living room under the Christmas tree once it is decorated. My son loves to look at the lights and though it takes him awhile to go to sleep it is totally worth the fun memories.

  7. I love so many things we do. My husband and I are trying to build strong traditions that our children will want to pass on. Of my favorites are the 25 days of Christmas countdown that we do as a family. Each day we do an activity as a family. It helps us carve out special time when things get busy. My other favorite is the Advent storybook we read. Each day has a story that illustrates the many wonderful things about God/that God does for us/etc. It's perfect for the ages my kids are at right now.

  8. Our tradition is doing stockings on Christmas eve debbie jackson
    djackson1958 at hotmail dot com

  9. I'm going to have to get that book. I love learning about Jewish traditions because they were used to disciple their children in the Truth just as God commanded (Deuteronomy 6) the people. What an awesome thing! A fun way to incorporate truth and ingrain it into the heart of a child.I want to do the same thing with various traditions that come up when I (hopefully) have children one day.

  10. My favorite is watching White Christmas with my mom, or how we read the Christmas story in the Bible every year on Christmas Eve. :)

  11. We do a jesse tree with our kids. i love reading the devotional and taking turns hanging up each evenings ornament!

  12. thanks for always pointing us to the true meaning of Christ Jess! We don't have many cool Christmas traditions yet. Loserville. But my favorite part of Christmas is getting out the playmobile nativity set. And this time we read that chapter in Jesus storybook bible about Jesus' birth and after ward I forced my kids to listen to me play away in the manger on the piano. and they tried to run away. but. i liked it and think i will implement it again next year. and hopefully they won't run away next year. maybe one year they will even SING!

  13. I have been wanting this book for a while and am excited about the chance to win it!!! :) one of our favorite traditions is doing advent with our children and having a special night decorating the Christmas tree. I love this time of year and am looking forward to having more traditions and sweet memories! -Brooke

  14. I've wanted this book for a while now too!
    One of my favorite traditions is getting together with my family the day after Thanksgiving to eat turkey soup and watch a Christmas movie. It's such a sweet simple way to kick off the season and it's less stressful and formal than the day before.

  15. beautiful kiddos and a beautiful post!
    i love the tradition of decorating the pepparkakkar tree, a norwegian custom passed on from my greatgrandparents...we have little bitty ornaments that go on a tree made of wooden dowels. i loved helping my mom decorate this as a child, and now my 4 kiddos love to help me :)

  16. My kids are very young and we're still discovering our traditions. We're doing advent with the kids for the first time this year and I am pretty sure this will be my new favorite tradition!


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