Preparing

by Kimba on December 22, 2010

in Faith and Family,Real Me

The shopping is done….completely. The presents are wrapped…mostly. The meals are planned…sorta. And I won’t be leaving my house until Christmas Day, if I can help it. The closer we get to the big day, the more my focus shifts from practical preparations to preparations of the heart.

I want to shut out the noise the world and focus on the quieting of hearts and stilling of spirits.

The last few weeks have been a flurry of shopping, wrapping, planning, class partying, church pagent-ing and caroling. We’ve fallen behind in our Jesse Tree devotionals. And I didn’t bake cookies with my kids. Again.

We’ve consumed our weight in popcorn while watching Elf, Rudolph and Home Alone.

Our family’s tradition of celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve feels just right again this year. We are blessed with lots of family to visit on Christmas Day, so several years ago we began opening gifts on Christmas Eve morning. We treat it just like Christmas day and it gives us a wonderfully quiet day to play with new toys, eat simple meals and just be together…our little family.

Some dear friends will join us for a Chinese take-out dinner and then for church services.

Christmas Day morning will be a simple, joyful celebration of the birth of our Savior. Birthday cake for breakfast, anyone? I’ve been inspired by my friend who doesn’t exchange gifts on Christmas morn and we’ll be incorporating a couple of her traditions. The rest of the day will be abuzz with family and visiting. But we’ll have already had our quiet and it all seems just right.

I’d love to hear about your preparations and plans.

photo: Alesa Dam

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{ 21 comments }

1 KIm December 22, 2010 at 9:23 am

I love the Christmas eve celebration… Christmas can be sooooo hectic and the kids never have time to play with their gifts… you have avoided that.. Be blessed and have a joyful and relaxing holiday.

2 pk @ Room Remix December 22, 2010 at 9:44 am

Your plans sound wonderful and just right! I’m looking forward to spending time with some family that I haven’t seen for a while.

Merry Christmas, Kimba!
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3 Mrs. Trixi December 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

Beautiful post. We too are working on preparing our hearts. Have a Merry Christmas, Kimba.
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4 Tonya December 22, 2010 at 10:23 am

Kimba, I love the idea of doing your family Christmas on Christmas Eve! I’m going to talk to my hubby about it!
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5 Kimba December 22, 2010 at 11:12 am

Celebrating our family Christmas on Christmas Eve has been a great thing for our family. My hubby wasn’t sure about it the first year we tried it because it “wasn’t traditional”. But now that we’re on year 4 or 5, he’s totally on board.

Christmas day was hectic and miserable before. We’d have a couple of hours at home in the morning and then off to the in-laws. Then to my parent’s in the afternoon. The kids were exhausted and miserable and so were we. We didn’t enjoy our time at home or our visits with relatives because we were trying to squeeze so much into one day.

Now we have an entire day to play with new toys, relax and sled-ride (let there be snow!).

So far, the kids have just accepted that mom can ask Santa to come a day early because we have so much to do the next day. They think it’s cool that they get a special visit.

6 Mrs. Jen B December 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

What a great idea – a birthday cake for Jesus! I will definitely be doing that when I have children!

I’m glad that your family takes time to quietly enjoy – my husband and I started a tradition years ago, when we weren’t spending Christmas morning together yet, of opening our gifts on Christmas Eve morning. We’ll still be doing that this year so we can just spend the time together and enjoy it. I’m sure we’ll save a couple of gifts to open with his family on Christmas morning, but the bulk of it will be just the two of us. We’re both really looking forward to it!

7 Kimba December 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

Before we had kids, my hubby and I would always exchange gifts on Christmas Eve night. We’d light some candles, have snacks and a glass of wine. It was very sweet and romantic.

8 Marion December 22, 2010 at 11:22 am

I just loved reading this, loved the way you have found peace after the rush and stress of this season. I’m getting there, but your post put me that much closer to the peace of Christmas.

Blessings and joy to you and your family this Christmas and in the near year!

9 Rachel Lynn December 22, 2010 at 11:26 am

I always bake things or make chocolates to give with Christmas presents, but this year, I don’t think my candy thermometer is working properly, my fudge was a fail and I’m running out of time. I might have to just learn this year that I don’t have to make 3 kinds of cookies, truffles, bread and fudge. lol. Other than that, my husband and I are trying to combine traditions from each of our families and make our own. I like the idea of opening gifts on Christmas Eve and focusing on Christ’s birth and just spend time with family on Christmas. Sometimes Christmas day just feels like a rush and there’s no time to really enjoy it or to remember the real reason we celebrate.

Have a Merry Christmas!!
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10 Stacey December 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Sounds pretty perfect! I know He’ll show up! He always does when we prepare a place for Him!

Merry Christmas Kimba!
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11 Annie December 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Christmas Eve is filled with anticipation and a trip to church. Then I will pick up the puppy and drop it off with the neighbors until the kids fall asleep. We always have appetizers for dinner and open a package containing new christmas jammies. Who knows what the next day will bring, but I am hoping joy and glorious laughter. Merry Christmas.

12 Jamie December 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm

We have a pizza baking party on Christmas Eve where we play chef and make up unique pizza combos. Christmas morning is quiet and beautiful all to ourselves. Then we head to grandma and grandpa’s where friends join us through out the day to play games and enjoy each others company.
We are hosting a gingerbread contest at http://www.creatinghomejournal.com. I would love it if you stopped by and voted for your favorite creation. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

13 margitta December 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Here in Norway there is church in the afternoon on christmas eve – that’s the start of the celebration. We all get dressed up before church, lamb meat is in the oven and dinner table set. We have dinner after church (early evening), afterwards we read the christmas story from the bible and sing some songs and than we exchange gifts… the children are than playing until they are tired and go to bed with the promise that everything stays untouched until next morning… both the first and second day after christmas are holidays and we go visiting relatives.
Greetings from Norway and a merry christmas to you!

14 Ashley December 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

Kimba,
I love reading your blog! You have given my so many wonderful ideas to consider for my family. One thing that I am struggling with this year is how to bring the focus back to Christ. I have a 2 1/2 year old who is just now understanding the Santa concept. I want her to enjoy the innocence of childhood and all of the majesty of the Christmas season. I don’t, however, want her to miss the real meaning of Christmas. Do you have any suggestions on how to bring Jesus to life for her? I have tried “Jesus loves you so much that He sends you presents from His friend Santa Clause for His birthday” I just don’t know about this one…. seems like a stretch….

Ashley

15 Richella at Imparting Grace December 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

You know, Kimba, as I reflect upon the blessings of 2010, I find myself thankful for you. For your sweet spirit, your kind heart, your friendship. And your example. I am really, really thankful for your example.

May your Christmas (starting tomorrow morning! wow!) be blessed beyond measure.

16 Heathahlee December 24, 2010 at 1:33 am

I always love, love, love our Christmas Eve service. We are doing two this year, one we had tonight and one tomorrow night. So many people (if the packed house tonight was any indication) have Christmas Eve celebrations with their families our church wanted to give them a chance to do both! My favorite part was/is always the candle lighting. I love to see the blackness of the sanctuary (like the world was before God became a man) start little by little, person by person (like the gospel was spread) to brighten, until it’s so bright you could read by the light of it. I got some beautiful pictures tonight (I sacrificed holding a candle to be able to take pics) and can’t wait to share them. : )

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Kimba girl!
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17 Jeanne December 24, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Hi Kimba, we are spending Christmas with two of our daughter. Love abounds. May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with warmth and love.
Merry Christmas!
Blessings, Jeanne

18 Teri December 27, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Last year was horrible trying to juggle the schedules of everyone. This year we planned and pulled off a Christmas Eve brunch for 20 of our children, their spouses and their children. Everyone ate, laughed and enjoyed being a family. You know, I have never made that many biscuits or made that much gravy but I am looking forward to doing it again next year.

19 Darlene December 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Kimba!
Merry Christmas! I hope it was wonderful!!!
I hope you have been finding much peace and joy and balance this holiday! I know you inspired the same in me at Relevant.
Thought you might like reading about our special Christmas this year:
http://worthwalkingtoward.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-was-different-this-year.html
May you be filled with His many rich blessings!!!!

20 Lynda December 27, 2010 at 9:06 pm

♪♪♫♪ ♪♪♫♪ :II ♫ Start spreading ♫ the NEWS ♫♪♪♫♪ ♪♪♫♪ It’s going to be a GREAT year in 2011!! ♪♪♫♪ ♪♪♫♪

All the best to you in the upcoming NEW year!

xo Lynda

21 Amanda December 29, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Just found your blog and I LOVE it!
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