16. Take a drive to see people’s lights & decorations.
(Don’t forget the cocoa to keep you warm.)
16. Take a drive to see people’s lights & decorations.
15. Set up the Christmas nativity.
(Read the Nativity Story about the birth of baby Jesus.)
It may be hard to tell in this photo, but Kelsie is playing with Nana’s little wooden nativity in the picture.
The Nativity Story
A very long time ago in the town of Nazareth, there lived a young woman named Mary. She was engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter. One day an angel appeared and told her she had been chosen to have a special baby. The baby would be God’s son and she must call him Jesus.
Soon after the angel’s visit, Mary and Joseph were married. Mary was due to have her baby when they were told they had to go on a long journey to Bethlehem, which was where Joseph came from. This was because they had to pay a special tax. Mary had to ride on a donkey for a few days over the hills of Galilee.
At last Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. It was crowded with other people who needed to pay their taxes. Mary was very tired and needed a place to stay. At each inn, the story was the same. There was no room for them. Eventually, one kind innkeeper said he had a stable where he kept his animals. They were welcome to stay there.
And so it was that a few hours later, Mary gave birth to her son in that stable. She wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth called swaddling and laid Him in a manger full of hay.
At the same time, on a hillside overlooking Bethlehem, some shepherds were watching over their sheep. A bright light appeared in the sky. They were very afraid. It was an angel sent by God. The angel told them not to be afraid, because he had some good news. He said the Son of God had been born and they would find Him in Bethlehem.
The shepherds wanted to see the baby. When they arrived at the stable, they were filled with joy at seeing Jesus lying in the manger. They knelt down and worshipped Him. They told Mary and Joseph how the angel had appeared in the sky and told them that Jesus was to be the Savior of the world.
Far away in the East, Wise Men saw a new star shining high in the sky. The Wise Men knew this was a very special star that meant a great ruler had been born, the King of the Jews, who would save the world. The star became known as the star of Bethlehem.
The Wise Men set off to find the baby on their camels. They were guided by the star of Bethlehem to the stable. Here they knelt down and worshipped Jesus. They gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which were very valuable gifts in those days. Gold could be used to buy things and the frankincense and myrrh were used for medicine and perfume.
This story is the real story of why we celebrate Christmas today, to celebrate the coming birth of Jesus Christ who later died on the cross to save our souls from our sins. This celebration is named after Jesus Christ as the Mass of Christ or Christmas.
We give presents to those we love just like the 3 wise men did and because Jesus was special we keep this as a special celebratory time of year every year.
This is always my favorite thing to do during the holidays and I know just what I am going to watch… “Christmas Vacation” and “Elf”!
The picture above was taken last year when Kelsie came to my mom’s house so her brother could get his cast. We were watching “The Polar Express” and we danced during the Hot Cocoa scene.
What’s your favorite holiday movie to watch?
The LEGEND of the Candy Cane
A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would help us remember who Christmas is really about. So he made a Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.
He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy: white to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus and hard candy to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church and firmness of the promises of God.
The candy maker made the candy in the form of a “J” to represent the name of Jesus. It also represented the staff of the “Good Shepherd.”
The candy maker then included red stripes. He used three small stripes and a large red stripe to represent the suffering Christ endured at the end of his life.
The candy became known as a Candy Cane – a decoration seen at Christmas time. The meaning has faded, but still gives joy to children young and old, whom Jesus loves and treasures.
I just put a few of my mom’s Christmas photos from long ago on my FlickR. This one has Kevin when he was really young, along with my sister and I, with Santa. I thought it would be fun to share.
I have been meaning to get this up for a week now, and I’m just finally doing it. This is what we did for the holiday lighting this year. We were a few days late on the advent day, but we did finally do the drum roll and had a good time decking the house out. Just don’t go looking for net lights in any other color but white or multi this year, because that’s all they have! We went everywhere trying to find more red net lights and couldn’t… luckily I found a few more boxes of them stashed away in another box.
6. Make holiday flavored milkshakes or ice cream.
(peppermint, pumpkin pie, eggnog, gingerbread)
This one is fun because I used to love Eggnog milkshakes from McDonald’s years ago, and it was always something I had to find during the season. I don’t get them now (probably because I’d rather have a gingerbread latte from Starbucks), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t try them yourselves! If you don’t want to take the time to make milkshakes, try holiday flavored ice cream tonight for a fun dessert! Add a fun candy cane or gingerbread cookie to complete the effect and make them really special. This is something the kids will certainly remember and want to do every year! I know I want to!
Here’s some recipes to try that I found online:
1 cup eggnog
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
In a blender combine first 3 ingredients and mix until frothy. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
1 cup milk
4 large peppermint patties
1½ oz. gingerbread syrup (which I need to dig out of the garage)
2 oz. milk
1 tablespoon Graham Cracker crumbs
14 oz. vanilla ice cream
Blend syrup, milk, ice cream. Garnish with whipped cream, Graham Cracker crumbs, and a gingersnap.
Pumpkin Pie Shake:
4 oz. canned pumpkin, chilled
1-1/2 cups cold low fat milk
8 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 tap. vanilla
Combine all ingredients until smooth. Top with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.