Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Next Christmas

Actually, starting in November next year, I will do some things differently.

1) I might actually send out Christmas cards.  If I can come up with a good idea for a Christmas portrait with two adults, seven (yikes!! :o)) children, and a great big dog, that doesn't have to have snow or Christmas decorations in it. Check out this year's card to see what I mean...

Don't they look warm and full of love :oD!?

2) I will wrap all our Christmas books, so they are ready to go on the first Sunday in Advent.

3) I will continue to shop thrift stores and mega sales to purchase gifts for my children. They haven't complained yet, so why spend more when I don't need to.

4) I will get ready, and/or redesign our Advent calender. I have yet to find the perfect book to guide me through how to connect my kids to the meaning of Advent and the real reason for Christmas.I usually just fumble along with my own gathered ideas. It's not working too well for me.

5) I will find a proper (ie. not quite so flammable) wreath for our Advent candles. I will also find better candles. 

A big melty mess.

6) I will keep the baking to a minimum again next year. Mind you, this year I was kind of forced to because of the death of my oven, but it all worked out just fine!

7) We will of course do our gingerbread men (I missed them this year. Bad oven!) and make our gingerbread houses.

8) We will also begin the Filipino tradition of making parols. Sadly I did not get one made (the prototype) to do this with the kids before Christmas, but I have one in the works (in my head anyway) for the Wee Three's room.

9) Depending on how well our family is adjusting to being a family of nine, we will attend a Christmas concert or play.

10) I will actually decorate for Christmas again. Which means, when the tree comes down in January, I will go through all our boxes and do the sort and purge. I'm not too sure I'll purge much though because I have really no clue what our house will look like with the addition on.

11) We will watch the Polar Express on the first weekend of Advent. I don't know why, but that is our favorite Christmas movie. I think it's the animation. We never tire of it. Of course we only watch it once a year :o).

12) We will continue to do Sinterklaas. It's just too fun not to. I can't wait to see seven pairs of boots/shoes lined up in front of the front door! It will be exciting to mix old traditions with the new.

13) We will order our Gifts of Compassion  from Compassion Canada early enough that they can go in with the children's Sinterklaas gifts so that we can talk about the gift of giving.

14) Also from Gifts of Compassion, we will order teacher gifts -- provided I'm not homeschooling all the girls.

I am sure I will think of some more things, but for now this is already pretty extensive. Do any of you have anything else that we could/should do? Free free to let me know!



  1. I love your Christmas protrait! Wonderful traditions you have; I think all your children will have lovely memories of old and new traditions from many cultures.

  2. I like your list, Deborah!
    I think I'll smell more evergreens. I love bringing them in the house. I'll light the Advent candles more often and take night walks to look at lights.

  3. This has been on my mind as well!
    - I doubt I'll send cards - we'll see how finances are, but I seriously doubt I'll send any. I haven't in three years now I think, and no one seems to mind/care. We hardly received any this year so people are either in our same boat or not sending because we don't.
    - This is the first year I have not been at the top of my game as far as buying gifts. I have always purchased things throughout the year when on sale or found in like new condition at thrift stores, etc., but this year I just didn't do it. I honestly don't know what my problem was, but I fully intend to snap out of it in 2011! I want to go thrifting at least once a month and plan to seek out new (to me) stores.
    - I also intend for each of us to do a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child rather than just two (one for each child).
    - I would like to decorate more, so I will seek out ideas in the coming months. I'd really love to have several beautiful battery operated candles (safer to use now that we have a dog with a tail). I'd like to make our fireplace spectacular (horrid thrown together brick eyesore) with a lovely mantle for decorating, but we'll have to be blessed with a $ windfall. And I'd like to move our family room around so the tree can go in a corner instead of near the front door where the dogs (especially the basenji mix) don't nearly knock it down every time they go outside and ornaments aren't constantly being knocked off. This will require the cooperation of hubby though as we need to move cable outlets and such.
    - I will make gingerbread men. My youngest wanted to do this, and I never got around to it.
    - I will do our Advent calendar. It never made it out of the box this year. :( (I'm telling you I was in a mood like no other year!)

    I know this really didn't answer your question as to what more you could/should do, I just needed to share what's on my heart with someone. :)

  4. LOVE the Christmas picture! :) And your list is great, too. Maybe add something that says if you only get half of this done you will have much grace with yourself. :-)

  5. Next Christmas will certainly be different for the both of us!!! You are going to be super duper busy and I can only imagine what your christmas card will look like! I loved this years card! Soooo much to look forward to!!

  6. sounds wonderful I love your plans and dreaming of whats ahead ~Praying you have a blessed and healthy 2011 and that your family of 9 will be rejoicing in happy reunion :) ~Love Heather
    p.s. Ha the xmas pic was cute with the children all cold lol!!

  7. even if you are homeschooling, u still need to get the "teacher" a gift. she will be working hard :O)
    Everything at you home always sounds so wonderful! I know that your 3 baby girls will just love your house(the people in it)

  8. You know what would make a wonderful Christmas card for your family next year? A photo of all the shoes lined up for Sinterklaas. And a bowl for the woof.

  9. Thank you each one of you! Bobbie-Jo a very Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family. Pom Pom, you continue to inspire me to find rest. Kim, I love your list! We had a very similar holiday season. I'm still praying for you :o)! Leslie, thank you for reminding me about grace. Soo glad we have such a gracious Savior! Ahhh, Renee! Such exciting times ahead for both our families! Really hope we get to meet in the PI! Heather, you have such a gift for kindness and encouragement. You do my heart good! Lol! Summur, if only you knew the chaos that presents itself here some days! I will have to remember to buy myself some chocolate :OD. Kerrie that is BRILLIANT! Can you remind me in November ;o)!

    Blessings to each one of you!

  10. This is a great idea, Deborah. The time to evaluate is now, while everything is still fresh.

    I've been purging too ;D

    I may have a similar post up soon...


  11. I love all of your traditions and ideas! Its a good idea to think it through ahead of time, I think I'll do the same instead of "as I go". I too shop at thrift stores :) Another thing I've found is asking friends with older boys if they have toys they're no longer using. My boys don't know the difference! And then I can pass along my kids' outgrown toys to other little kids. I love doing that. Your card is hilarious and made me smile!!!! You have lots of time to think of next years card....what about everyone jumping in the air "for joy"? I don't know if the dog would jump, lol, but everyone else could? Cant' wait until your family is complete!

  12. I, for one, cannot wait to see your Christmas portrait next year. Now that will be a sight to behold!

  13. all great ideas. I have decided that when I start my new journal for the yeat 2011 I will write what I want to change for next year inside the front cover so it is right there to remind me. Otherwise I won't remember next week let alone next Nov-Dec what I want to change LOL

  14. Having six children of my own, I GREATLY appreciate your Christmas pic! It's perfect!


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