Some of us celebrate Christmas from a :angel: religious perspective, others celebrate the season of :present: giving ~ kindness ~ :cloud9: Peace On Earth hopes...others of us celebrate different :stardav: :han: holidays :hug:
We usually disagree a lot on these types of threads...:mad:
I think we all can agree that the majority of us celebrate in some form or another :yes:
Our world has changed much in the last few years in many ways....we may come close to agreeing that the majority of the changes have hurt us all in one way or another.....the world is changing folks...changes we never thought possible...it will always change...:) but one thing is for sure...
The CHRISTMAS SEASON will always be here...no matter how you celebrate it :celebrate:
But the season has changed for me, from when I was a child....how about you?
I don't remember seeing Christmas/Holiday decorations in stores weeks before :haphal: Halloween....:(
A lot of changes...
In the last few years my family, all grown, has gone to giving to others more than between ourselves...this is a great change my family has done.
How about you? Any changes you are making? Things you want to share from your beliefs and thoughts on the season? Feel free to share all your thoughts...religious or not...but NO BASHING ALLOWED or I will close the thread...'k? :)
11-17-2009, 03:54 PM
well things have definitely changed a lot over the years for me. my grandmother always made christmas very special for the whole family when i was young. after she died, things just weren't the same. now the whole family is scattered and we don't get to see each other at all.
i spend my holiday with my husbands family now, which just isn't the same. they don't do gifts for everyone, they do steal a gift. which is fun, but just not the same. there aren't very many kids in the family yet, so it's just not as fun. to me christmas should be a time to make magic for children, and i feel like i'm missing out on that.
but it's not all sad. i still have my traditions that i stick to, and we always have a nice meal and good company. i've been trying to not get into a bad attitude but with my family gone it feels more like a season of miserable obligations.
that being said, i still decorate and have a few traditional recipes and in honor of the family that has passed or can't be with us, the last few years i started putting up pictures of everyone who isn't with us to remind us.
11-17-2009, 08:01 PM
LIZZIE that is a nice idea with the pictures of those that have passed.
with ribbon and mini-clothes pins. they look really great.
11-17-2009, 10:28 PM
11-17-2009, 10:49 PM
Christmas traditions have changed a lot over the last couple years around here.
1. The kids aren't here :( We spend a good chunk of the day on the phone and webcam with family members (younger AND older)
2. I no longer bake 20 dozen Christmas cookies. In fact, I bake zero dozen.
3. We give more gifts to charities in honor of others instead of buying "stuff".
4. I put up fewer decorations, and have really streamlined decorating.
Some things stay the same:
1. Candelight Christmas eve service
2. Full nativity lighted figurines in the yard
3. Home-made nativity scene stockings hanging in the living room
4. Advent calendar and wreath
5. Christmas (not holiday) cards to friends and family
6. Extra time spent in prayer and meditation to help insure that Christmas stays Christ focused for our family.
11-17-2009, 11:42 PM
SCOOTER this year Angie has said no tree...but all the other decorations will go up and we have a really cool new Nativity...so excited about it!
Won't be able to hang up my "Jesus" Board on the house because of the surgery...but maybe some angel will show! already neighbors are asking me to put it up as usual.
I should say we did already buy a tree...we just donated it to a family at Camp Pendleton.
11-18-2009, 12:50 AM
i thought of a couple more things- i usually make some of those cinnamon ornaments for the tree, smell so good!
one of my favorite christmas memories is with my mom. we decorated our tree for christmas with all edible things- dried slices of oranges, apples, star fruit, popcorn and cranberry garlands- and when christmas was over- we took anything that wasn't safe off, stuck the tree in the back yard and the birds fed off it! it was so cool!
11-18-2009, 09:15 AM
Another great idea Lizzie!
11-18-2009, 09:56 AM
I'm similar to lizziep in that my family always got together for holidays, especially Christmas at Pappaw and Mammaw's, but now they're gone and we live so far away from everyone else. DH's family never had any holiday traditions except for mom and dad being drunk, so no traditions from that side of the family for us to follow. We've just tried to keep it special and Christ-centered (no Santa's in our house) for our boys and do what we can for others who are less fortunate.
11-18-2009, 10:27 AM
My Christmas got much smaller after my mom died. She was kind of the central, driving force of the family meal and Christmas, and after she passed away nearly six years ago it just wasn't the same. Then my brother's kids have gotten older, and their Christmas wishes have changed from stuffed animals and board games to expensive things we can't afford. So we do gift cards (which I hate with a passion - to me that's a "thoughtless" gift.) I used to LOVE going into a store and finding something for them, but they're not "into" anything but friends and shopping anymore.
Once I married my husband, Christmas got complicated. Now we have his dad's family Christmas, then his granny's Christmas, and Christmas Eve/Day alternates. One year (like this year) we'll spend Christmas Eve at my brother's house, do the morning stuff there and then do lunch at his mom's. But that may not even be the case this year, since his teenagers might prefer to sleep in, rather than get up early for gifts. Gotta check that out...
That being said, I LOVE and adore decorating for Christmas. This year we've got our new house that's just BEGGING for decorations! Can't wait for that!
Thighs Be Gone
11-18-2009, 10:52 AM
I want to make Christmas less and less about the stuff. I am fortunate enough to be spending part of the season in Europe going to the Christmas markets in Germany and sledding in the Alps in Switzerland. I want us to enjoy family time there and recognize what a blessing we have, go to seasonal concerts and see a play.
As for gifts, my kids are getting:
1 Joint gift from Santa Claus and stockings!
We are exchanging gifts with each other and that is it.
We will decorate the tree, put some lights up and do some special Christmas crafts like stringing popcorn and baking gingerbread men/women.
When I was a kid all Christmas entailed was lots of stuff and a meal for already obese family. Pitiful.
11-18-2009, 03:09 PM
the more i read the more stuff i am remembering from my childhood. my grandmother always read us a couple of christmas stories- she usually got them from magazines like "the good old days" and that was always really great. if i thought my husbands family would appreciate that at all, i'd start it back up.
11-18-2009, 04:54 PM
Christmas hasn't really changed much for me, and that's such a blessing. We don't get to spend every Christmas with everybody, but we alternate between families every year. We have children on both sides, so we still get to see the "magic" of Christmas morning. I love the time with our extended and immediate families and I've never had a drama-filled Christmas! Just lots of love and fun for everyone. It's somewhat cliche, but I don't care.
The only thing that has changed is that we no longer attend the candlelight service on the air force base with my family because it's just gotten too crowded. We go to the Christmas Eve service at my childhood church (also the church I was married in). It's a lovely service, but it's just not the same as the glow of the candlelight on the stone walls and stained glass windows and I miss the old, traditional hymns!
This year is the first year DH and I are going to host Christmas at our house. We know we're not going to have many guests, since everyone is 5+ hours away, but it will be wonderful regardless!
11-18-2009, 09:16 PM
Great stuff LADIES!
I just love the candlelight service at church too KIM...the early service has the Santa Claus "look" with all the young kids ALL EXCITED...way cool too!
Angie plays bells at both of the services this year I believe...early at 6...later at 10...used to be 11...glad we go at 10 now...old man I am....wink
11-19-2009, 09:16 PM
I may not be able to get these decorations up this year with my surgery...but some of the neighbors have already stopped and asked if I am...but I wanted to share for those that haven't seen them and appreciate them....I understand not everyone does and that's ok too :) Also one from our church from last year.
11-21-2009, 03:12 AM
EZ-that is a beautiful display, I do hope one of your "angels" is able to help you out with putting up your Jesus display!
lizziep-all your memories of Christmas past are so special. Always keep them close. Good for you, making new and keeping a few that are so special for you. I've also made those cinnamon ornaments, they are so yummy smelling :D
Thighs Be Gone- :D You have a Great Plan-Love it
I can remember One Christmas, did not have the money for a tree, the kids were teenagers and totally understood. One night, arrived home from work and my DD "made us a Christmas tree" out of cardboard and put an angel ornament on top. We called it our "Charlie Brown Christmas" to this day, someone always brings up that very special tree. I no longer have to divide my time between my family and in-laws, both sets of parents are gone :( miss them all so much, but when we lost the last grandparent 5 years ago, everyone comes here, now my kids have to do the parents/in-laws thing. Right now I'm okay with sharing them, but once the little pitter-platter of tiny feet enters the picture...hey who am I kidding, will still share. I think Christmas to me is special, I try not to get caught up in the material part of it, but I just Love driving around to see the beautiful displays, and I just LOVE Christmas Music, Love to Hear someone say Merry Christmas, I also Love to give and receive Christmas Cards. I also Love snow, BUT only Christmas Eve after all the kids are safely home and DH and I are sitting in the LR in the dark, watching the tree lights twinkle ;) and the snow glistening in the street lights as it falls to the ground.
11-22-2009, 02:28 PM
midnight mass, which my church does at midnight, ha. last year it rained like a typhoon, people still packed the church. it's the most popular service of the year. I love the music, and it gives me a chance to sing Christmas carols without too much embarrassment (so many people and the choir and organ, I essentially get drowned out, thank goodness, heh heh)
we'll do a secret santa from the church tree too.
this year I'm going to make goodie packages for my dad and brother in Calif.
11-22-2009, 03:07 PM
My sister exclaimed one day "I can't stand it, why does it all have to be in one day"? who says we have to run around and see every person on Christmas Evening or Christmas Day. Praying for just a little snow, not a speck of ice, hoping everyone will be on time for dinner... etc..
She has a lot of experience with last minute shopping, wrapping, cooking and cleaning... (she had one of those invisible hubbies) All that work for one day, and within a couple of hours the presents are ripped apart, the food was devoured and the house was a mess...
From that year on, we have spread the visiting part of the celebration over at least a week. Here's some of the 'free' or low cost things we've done to 'visit' ..
Grab a hot chocolate and visit a place that sells Christmas trees buy some 'greens' for last minute decoration, the scent will put you in a Christmas mood, watch other families pick out their trees...
Check around for neighborhood with decorated homes, usually when one family decorates it starts a little decoration 'war'... perhaps not the best year for extra electricity costs, but I'm still going to look around, the little kids love it...
There is an old fashioned theatre in Boston that shows It's a Wonderful Life, the old version, in black and white, complete with some crackles in the audio and a shutter or two on the film...
In the end, we feel like we've spent quality time with the family in a stress-free way.... If everyone sees each other again on Christmas Day it is wonderful, and if we don't.. its ok too...
11-22-2009, 04:12 PM
oh i forgot about that! we always piled into my grandpas van to go around the rich neighborhoods and look at the christmas lights.
the last few years, in an attempt to start our own traditions, my hubby decided we should go see a play or show during the holiday season. We saw the play of A Christmas Carol and Cirque du' OR (oregons version apparently? lol) and it's always fun to dress up nice and go to the theater and get in the holiday mood.
11-22-2009, 08:27 PM
Thank you for showing us the pictures Gary, they look great !
I'm sure they will go up this year too... I know they will...
11-23-2009, 07:23 PM
We do Christmas with my in-laws at Thanksgiving (which I detest) because my mother-in-law goes to Texas for the winter the day after. We have a similar gift exchange like lizziep (steal a gift), which is a lot of fun and we really enjoy it.
Have two kids in college and one at home, so we're always together for the holidays. Christmas Eve is usually lasagna and I like to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" before going to Midnight Mass (at midnight too) with my husband and kids. After getting home at about 1:30 am we usually open one gift. When the kids were little it was always their PJ's. Then go to bed and not get up too early for gift opening. I still put up stockings and fill them with candy and small items. We used to go to a tree farm and cut down our Christmas tree every year. Last two years we have used an artificial tree, so that is a big change for me. On Christmas Day we pack in the car and head to my parents an hour and a half away. There we'll give parents their gift and eat a big dinner. I have 8 brother & sisters and my mom has 24 grandchildren so it gets really loud and very crowded, but I wouldn't have it any other way. One of our traditions are cutout Christmas sugar cookies which I am expected to make (they're great) and I also make homemade bread and rum cake. The meal preparation is getting to be almost too much for my mom as she's getting older but she loves the family getting together.
We have always tended to buy our kids a lot of gifts, but as they get older I think we are buying less and less. This year I have warned everyone we are not buying as much stuff. We are just grateful that we are all together. We all have jobs and good health. Being a nurse I have to work every other major holiday, so I am also thankful this year that I have Christmas off. We start sending newborns home in large red Christmas stockings a week before the holiday. They're so adorable!