Over Thanksgiving holiday, I did something for the very first time: I decorated a Christmas tree with my mother and my son. It was only the second or third tree I had ever decorated, as I grew up NOT celebrating Christmas in the traditional American sense of the word, though we sent out greetings to key family members who "wouldn't understand."
Growing up, I cherished the Thanksgiving holiday, because we always had a potluck and a houseful of people from church who didn't have family nearby or a way to be with them. It was like having church at home in a cozy, uplifting way.
My favorite thing about Christmas as a school-aged child was how life SLOWED DOWN. My family and I just hung out at home and ate snacks, or strolled around the malls, enjoying the decorations, and buying nothing. As I grew older, there would sometimes be a special purchase of a large item the family needed anyway, but no hustle and bustle at our house, and we attended few if any parties.
I will never forget the lovely sounds of glorious Christmas gospel music ringing in the vaulted ceiling at our local shopping mall, as I caroled my heart out with fellow church members. Christmas vespers at school, too, was always such fun!
It's our second Christmas in our first home, and we enjoy looking at Christmas light displays around the neighborhood, and seeing our son enjoy them, too. My husband put up lights on our porch, and we have decided to get a small living potted tree that keeps after the as yet to be bought lights will be removed.
Spending time together and simplicity trumps Santa and all the hustle and bustle for me, but I want to cultivate a legacy of simplicity for my son ON PURPOSE. So what shall I add to our family holiday that will not clutter my mind or home?
As a Christian, I have always loved the Christmas Sunday School lesson of the dream of three trees and how they were used to point the world to the Savior by being used to make a manger, a boat, and a cross. Would these three items, and their stories be told each year instead of JUST the Christmas story? Where should I go to create such a unique holiday display?