Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas!!

Christmas will be here before we know it!
I'm doing everything possible around our little house to not allow the time fly by too fast but it seems to anyway.

My sisters and I always say the appropriate time to start playing Christmas music is the day after Halloween. However, my husband is of the opinion that the day after Thanksgiving is more fitting.
So we've come to an agreement over the last couple years that in order for me to get my holiday tune fix, and in order for Kristian to not be totally burnt out by Christmas time with the same songs over and over, we play Christmas music on the weekends in the apartment through November (and of course I can listen to it whenever I want, which I do- all day at work).

Then once December hits it's non-stop :)

We also try to keep track of all our little Holiday events during the season. I started this back in college because, again, I just wanted to make the most of the limited and special time.
We have a calendar on the fridge for Oct, Nov, and Dec and almost every day has a little something on it, whether it be "drink hot chocolate", or a special dinner with friends, or a time of serving in the City, or listing a movie we watched.... it's very varied. But somehow it makes me feel like we are embracing the moments. Come to think of it, we should do this for every month!

We have had some preliminary family discussions about Christmas gifts this year, but of course I can't reveal too much here since some of you will be recipients.

Once again (as in years past) I'm posting the new video from the Advent Conspiracy website. We think it is so great to keep many of these things in mind while planning for Christmas!







The past couple Christmases Kristian and I have tried to make holiday decisions somewhat in line with what is promoted by Advent Conspiracy, and a few things we have just felt the Lord leading our family to. And they have seriously been some of the BEST Christmases.

They have involved less stuff (though we are still totally in support of the wonderful tradition of gifts!) but have brought on some fun new experiences. There has been more of a focus on relational and creative gifts, even if they don't cost a penny.

Not only have we enjoyed planning and creating the gifts for our family, but we have so enjoyed being the recipients of such meaningful presents. We've actually created a little books to keep track of them all.

Some of the items we've received:
-Donations made in our honor to World Vision, Hope for New York, Restore NYC, and others. Kristian's grandmother made a donation in our name to a homeless shelter in Tulsa that had special meaning to her. She took time to write out the story of how this shelter had helped a family member years and years ago- priceless!

-A year sponsorship for a little girl named Angeline through Redeeming India... She's a beautiful child who was rescued from murder after her parents abandoned her upon learning she was not a baby boy...

-T-shirts and shoes and books and music whose proceeds support amazing causes, locally and internationally...

- Many other extremely thoughtful and generous gifts carefully selected especially for us by our parents and siblings...

Some fun things we've been able to give:
- A "Date Book" created for my parents with a year's worth of date ideas, planning & supply lists, and little treats to help with the dates. Kristian and I have actually used the book this whole year as well and have had so much fun with it.

- Scrap books, framed photos, paintings...

- Various "fair trade" items...

- Last year the Hennighausen family decided (as a surprise to Anne!) to all give each other smaller or homemade gifts and then use the money we would have spent to donate towards Anne and her YWAM ministy fund. She had no idea and at the very end of gift opening time we gave her the surprise gift (which my dad presented in a very creative way). She was blown away and burst into tears... again, priceless!
Who knows what this Christmas will bring, but I'm excited.

Kristian and I have been discussing family traditions as we prepare for the arrival of our little boy. We're so looking forward to carrying on some of our family's traditions and maybe starting a few new ones of our own!

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