Christmas Traditions

Matt and I had a great Christmas here in Portland. We enjoyed a few old traditions and made a few new ones. One really awesome thing that has come out of living 3,000 miles away from our family (and subsequently, our families' traditions) is that we had the opportunity to really look at our lil' twosome and decide which traditions we wanted to begin for ourselves and the children to come.

We started our Christmas before Christmas by celebrating the advent. We began this tradition last year. Here is our advent "wreath."

Several years ago our church here in Portland, Imago Dei, began a movement called Advent Conspiracy. Our Pastor Rick McKinley wrote a book on the subject. I would recommend that you all check it out - it's pretty amazing. This year, we tried to make all gifts that we gave fit into the model of being relational. I'll write another post that describes what we gave and how we went about it.

Christmas eve was filled with tradition. Matt decided that Christmas eve needed to begin with breakfast at 5am. So, we went to IHOP, ate breakfast, and just talked for hours. Granted, we talk everyday, but this was really amazing. We also made calls to Matt's family to participate in their tradition of "Christmas Eve gift." I spent the day making ginger cookies and finishing up some Christmas projects for my family. That evening, we read from Luke, prayed, and sang 12 days of Christmas...along with a ton of other Christmas carols. We then enjoyed coffee and cookies, as we opened our Christmas Eve gift from Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Sue.

Christmas morning we woke up, and proceeded to our pile of gifts. We then decided to open one gift, make our Christmas breakfast, and call the families. Christmas brunch has been a tradition for the past 4 years that we have been married. In Athens, we shared this time with our friends, Heather and Randy - we missed them a lot this year.

After Christmas breakfast we finished opening our pile of presents - we are continually humbled by the generosity of our families. We've tried to get them on board with Advent Conspiracy...we've succeeded with my sister and her family....but my momma's love language is gift-giving. For her, this is a relational act - and conservative compared to some past Christmases.

After breakfast we watched a few Christmas movies and enjoyed each others' company. We made a wonderful, vegetarian dinner (consisting of a lot of side dishes), watched more movies, had a wonderful time of prayer, and went to bed.

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