Posts Tagged ‘tradition’
This year we made a new Halloween tradition. As traditions go, this one was born from necessity and not forced. Every night we have raw spinach salad, usually rice or potatoes and some sort of meat… we were out of everything. So I made breakfast for dinner. And it was yummy and fun and different (for us). And that’s all it takes to make kiddos happy. Tess kept putting bacon on her head. She is a ham… pun intended.
Then we be bopped on over to the Pumpkin City pumpkin patch with Push Cakes in hand. YUM!!! We got our pumpkins for a deal. YAY!
(I love everything about this picture. Everything. Ev-ery-thing.)
We all dress up for Halloween, and I love putting together a family costume theme. Unfortunately, the big kids get to pick their own thing (darn free choice) and my plan of Fred and Wilma and Pebbles and Bam Bam for the littlest was just too pricey. I don’t mind spending a little bit of money for the big kids (ninja and Cinderella) because they use their costumes all year long for dress-up, but the littles grow out of theirs in what feels like just a few weeks.
Days before Halloween I was browsing Party City for ideas and came across a baby Darth Vader costume for $10. Tess. Done. The I came across some adorable skull and crossbones suspenders. Cy = punk rock greaser. Done. Then a skin colored tee that makes the wearer look like they are covered in tattoos. Hubby as a bad boy? Yes, please. But I couldn’t find anything I liked for me that was cheapie cheap cheap cheap. When I got home I took a quick assessment of what we had around the house and I had had the best idea. Where’s Waldo!! We have loads of big black glasses from our Fedorable shoot and I just added a bit of flare to a white beanie and spray painted stripes onto an old shirt. Done. And for free!
So our family couldn’t have been more random. Tattooed man ($15). Where’s Waldo (free). Ninja ($20). Cinderella ($15). Punk rock greaser ($7). Darth Vader ($10) and I love it!
To make Where’s Waldo. Dig an old white shirt out of your closet (you know the one with the deodorant stains…) tape stripes with painter’s tape then spray the heck out of it! Cut strips of red felt then safety pin around a white beanie and bunch up thin red strips and safety pin to the top of the beanie (or make a yarn pom pom or use a pre made craft pom pom).
I really enjoy Halloween. I think it’s a lot of fun to come up with clever costume ideas and I love getting creative to bring ideas to life. I know people can get a little touchy (understatement) about the holiday. But I think Christians have failed their communities by not celebrating or by doing “safe alternatives.” It’s no surprise to me that Halloween has become so evil as Christians have completely removed their presence in their own communities. Halloween is the ONLY holiday that requires you to visit your neighbors. You know, those people who live 30 feet from you, who you’ve only waved at once. Hell-o outreach!! What if Christians gave out the best candy? Maybe with a lil’ invite you your Sunday service attached. What if Christians opened up their garages and served warm chili to trick-or-treating parents? Hot apple cider for Jesus, yo! I’ve had awesome Christian friends tell me they just go out to a movie or growing up they would shut off all the lights and hide from trick-or-treaters. I believe that’s what the enemy wants you to do. A major victory for Satan. Stop stepping back and start stepping in. Into the battle. Turn on your lights, literally and figuratively for the LORD. Be present in the home God has placed you. Be present for that one person who might need your encouragement that night. Be present to
strangers your neighbors. Halloween would be different. Could be different.
(side note: Halloween is also a great time to teach your children the truth about death, demons and ghosts.)
Other great costumes of the evening…. (yep, we’ve got some crazy-awesome aunties around here!!!)
And I have another lil’ guest post over at According to Kelly. I’ll post it here soon too! And below is how to enter her great giveaway!!
You know I hold fast to the idea that making your kiddos’ lives a little magical is easy and more rewarding than we can ever imagine! You just have to be a lil’ intentional about it. Being a mom is SO MUCH WORK, so why not make it fun? You’re the mom. Make it rad.
Here is an EASY idea I came up with this year – A daily Jack-O-Lantern Scavenger Hunt!
All you need is black construction paper and tape.
Cut Jack-O-Lantern faces sized to fit everyday items in your home. Every evening before you go to bed add a Jack-O-Lantern (or two) to something around your house and in the morning your kiddos get to search for the new one. By the end of the month you will have 31 Jack-O-Lanterns scattered around your home. The first person to find the new Jack-O-Lantern gets a piece of the Halloween candy… or a kiss from mommy. Kinda like elf on the shelf but way less deceptive…
Think big and small – front of a kitchen cabinet or on a light switch!
(How to you like my spotless kitchen counters? I’m reorganizing, and as always, keeping it real.)
Seriously folks, less than a cent of construction paper and about two minutes of time and I caught the joy below.
Being a mom is rad.
Tip: For small things (like light switches), place the tiny pieces on clear packing tape then tape the whole thing on the future Jack-O-Lantern.
I think I’ll do a big one on the garage door tomorrow morning!
Being a mom is rad. (again)
You really can make anything into a Jack-O-Lantern with construction paper. If you aren’t up for the everyday scavenger hunt thing you can make it into an afternoon craft project with your kids. They will love sticking the faces all over the house.
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.”
During dinner, Brad talked about growing in faith and wisdom. He talked about how we are set apart and that if we are sad we have true hope in Jesus. We can depend on God ALL DAY LONG. No matter what. All the time. Then we gave Eli a special blessing for the school year.
The décor was all circles, color and silly.
~Red wrapping paper cut in a wavy line as table runners
~Bright beaded necklaces down the middle of the table
~Colored 3×5 cards as name plates
~Mismatched colorful dinnerware
~Molding foam and a back to school book for each guest for dinner play
I made this poof chandelier with a small hula hoop, curly ribbon and tissue paper. (Thanks Amanda!) 1) Stack 6 pieces of tissue paper. 2) Cut piles into 4 squares. 3) Stack into two piles, 12 pieces in each pile. Set one pile aside and fold the other one like a fan. 4) Tie a length of ribbon to the center of the fan (you’ll have a bow shape). 5) Separate tissue pieces and fluff into a poof shape. 6) use the extra length of ribbon to hang around the hula hoop.
~Ravioli with meat sauce
~Spinach salad with carrots and cherry tomatoes
~Strawberries, blueberries, grapes
~A dollop of nutella for fruit dipping
We wore the necklaces from the table, read the books during dinner and let the kiddos play with the toys (a treat around here).
~White cake (dyed blue with food coloring) with chocolate frosting and a strawberry on top. I baked them in these neat silicone cupcake thangs I got years ago. They have feet and they are adorable.
We had so much fun! I feel like this celebration sets the stage for a great school year. We have our feast the night before school starts, but I think it would be fun to close out the first week too! (I spent less than $20 on the supplies at the Dollar Tree!)
The next morning we took pix, walked to school and said goodbye.
I missed that lil’ fella!
While Eli was at school we baked cookies, then ate them later while he told us all about his day. That was special too. I think I’m gonna like this new phase of life. I think I don’t have a choice. My time stopping remote control is broken. I keep trying to hit pause, but it’s stuck on fast forward. I can grasp on to what’s already gone or look ahead. I’ll choose to look ahead. I choose joy. And eating cookie dough. Yep, eating lots of cookie dough sure does help.
Happy 1st week of school!
… that is the question.
He’s got twinkly eyes and a tummy that giggles when he laughs, just like me, what’s not to like?
In faith based families the “santa thing” can be blown out of proportion, whether you celebrate with him or not.
Ethically we have no issues with santa. Why? Well, many Christmas traditions people don’t seem to be worried about are taken from pagan holidays: The date – December 25th was the last day of Saturnalia. In the 4th century, Christianity allowed the celebration of the Roman Saturnalia festival by changing the meaning to Jesus’ birth, to help convert the pagan masses. Gingerbread Men – During Saturnalia people would bake human shaped cookies in honor of the human sacrifice on the last day of the festival. Caroling – Singing (naked) in the streets during the festival. Christmas Trees – Pagans who worshiped trees would decorate them and bring them into their homes. This list goes on and on…
Anyway our thought was, if most of our Christmas traditions are derived from pagan traditions, than what is the big deal with santa? Well, some people believe the original pagan origin is pretty crazy (Nimrod)… think baby killer coming down the chimney. Some people think santa origins are Saint Nicolas (we go more in that direction). But the modern version first came around after ‘The Night Before Christmas’ poem became popular.
If the kiddos asked me straight out “yes or no” if santa was real, I would tell the truth, but say we choose to honor the American tradition because of the kindness and legacy of Saint Nicolas and because it’s a fun way to remember the Truth of Jesus’ birth aka fulfillment of Jewish prophecies. We feel we can attach our own meaning to traditions. And since there really isn’t anything new under the sun it’s likely that most traditions from any holiday can be traced back to something yucky. If we didn’t do santa because he isn’t real, then would we not do the tooth fairy, fairy tales, the Easter bunny, or that mouse that talks at the happiest place on earth?
I think what it really comes down to is the fact that I celebrated Christmas with santa as a child, with very little spiritual tie-ins, and my faith in God (or my trust in my parents) wasn’t shattered when I found out it wasn’t real.
Oh, and it’s hella FUN!!!
But as far as what we actually do…
~We don’t have any santa decorations – we use stars, angels and nativities.
~We don’t make an event of going to see santa, but Hot Hubby’s company does santa pictures for free at the Family Company Party and we usually end up seeing santa at other events. I think santa pictures are a fun tradition to see how kiddos grow over the years.
~santa brings the kiddos 3 presents just like the three wise men brought Jesus 3 presents. Last year santa brought the kiddos something they needed, something they wanted and something educational and I tied that into the purpose of the gold, frankincense and myrrh. But it was kinda a stretch, and they really didn’t understand.
~We talk about how Saint Nicolas was a real person – this veggietale was really helpful.
~We haven’t written santa a letter yet… but my kiddos can’t write so we really haven’t had to choose what we will do. A part of me thinks that it is taking the “fun santa thing” just a bit too far and another part of me thinks it would be a great keepsake to see how their writing progresses and what their perspectives were as children.
~We talk about the “tradition of santa” but have never actually said santa was real. Any questions we have gotten usually are redirected to our beliefs – celebrating Jesus’ birth (which we don’t believe was actually on Christmas… whole other post!), prophecy, etc.
~santa doesn’t watch us through the year to see if we are good or bad. He is strictly a present bringer not a behavior judger.
I’d love to hear what you do or don’t do and why!
Below are some interesting Christmas reads. Some are super extreme!!
We’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit (and packing up all the orders from our awesome Lid sale)!
Last night was our First Day of December Advent Dinner.
We do our advent activities at dinner time so the whole family can join in the fun.
aka Hot Hubby leaves for work before sunrise.
Decor: (everything bought that day at The Dollar Tree $16)
~Giant gold star hanging from the ceiling fan
~Three big stockings instead of a table cloth
~Two cake plates with three sparkly Christmas trees, a glitter bell and mason jar filled with peppermint stick straws
~Simple paper name cards above glitter ornaments – Christmas trees for the boys and angels for the girls
~Finished off with “snow” beads
~Chicken and Squash stir fry (honey and soy sauce dressing… SO yummy!!)
Served in beautiful crystal. (Wish I had a good pic of the serving dishes.)
Cora Jane was very impressed with the “sparkly party hats.” They turned out to be so much more than a center piece.
We have done a lot of things for advent – paper chain countdown, chocolate, advent wreath… This year Eli got a Star Wars advent calendar (so wrong but so fun). I felt so bad that he was going to get a lil’ something everyday so we put together a lil advent countdown of our own for Cora Jane.
You’re only a kiddo once.
To counter all our worldly heathenism we are doing Truth in the Tinsel.
It’s only $4.99 and it’s 24 days of curriculum and ornament instructions. My hubby loved teaching the children about the Light of the World and the children loved making their candle ornaments…
Do you celebrate advent?
Any great ideas?
(how could I not put a pic of this little gal in the post!)