My cousin, Barbara, has a Santa collection that would rival anything you've seen in a museum. I"m not talking a mantle full of the jolly ol' elf. I'm talking about house full, with every surface imaginable hosting its own special Santa. She is a collector extraordinaire.
I have to say that I LOVE it when I know people collect a certain type of Christmas-themed objects. It makes gift-giving so much easier.
After hearing from many of you, I realize that those of you who are moms and grandmas and aunts are busy building tree ornament collections for the little ones in the family. We are doing the same. Our tree will be virtually bare once everyone gets married and establishes their own family traditions. On the other hand, their trees will be packed, so they will start their families with traditions in place.
Here is a quick tour of our family's ornament tradition...
Each child in the family has a Precious Moments First Christmas ornament hanging on our tree.
Our oldest child collects pig Christmas tree ornaments.
Our second child plays football, so each Christmas, he gets a football ornament.
Our youngest was a Thomas the Tank Engine maniac when he was small. We've decided to keep building that collection in tree ornaments so that he can share it with his children one day.
We write each child's initials and the year on the ornaments to help everyone remember who got what when.
While decorating the tree is distinctly a family affair, the job of taking it down belongs solely to Mom. So when I start untrimming the tree after January 6th, I take the opportunity to pray for my kids as I carefully pack away their ornaments until next Christmas. I pray for them-- for their relationship with the Lord, for their future spouses and children, for their ministries, for anything that the Lord brings to mind during that time. As only the Lord can do, He takes what I would normally see as drudgery and makes it into a beautiful opportunity to spend time worshipping Him and covering my children in prayer. What a blessing!
And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..."
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During this season, we celebrate the moment in history when the Most High Creator sent His one and only Son to Earth to live a perfect life and then lay down that life for all the things we do that miss the mark of perfection. Through Jesus' love and sacrifice, we have forgiveness of sin and fellowship with our Heavenly Father forever and ever.
...to Heather for sharing her excellent photography skills and crafty ideas ...to Katie W. and Julie M. for helping with design ...to Sarah T., Angie, and Tracey for sharing their ideas ...to Allison S., Shannon, Jenn and Maureen for sharing their hearts ...to Susan B. for sharing her art ...to Melvin for sharing her poetry ...to Jen, Karen D., Ivy, Tina, and Melanie for sharing Christmas traditions ...to Jenn for conquering the button ...to Tina, Carmen, Karen and others for sharing the warmth of their homes