Thursday, December 20, 2012

The first snowman

We were planning to drive to my in-laws' home for our Christmas vacation today, but a snowstorm yesterday afternoon closed the Interstate all day long. (Douglas commented, "You know you're in Nebraska when the winter is mild up until the day before vacation, when a foot of snow closes the interstate for 500 miles.") Although it was disappointing to have our plans thwarted, it ended up being kind of pleasant to have a relaxing day at home. After lunch, Edmund and I bundled up and headed outside to make his first snowman! Well, I did most of the work while Edmund observed, but still. I found a nice, long icicle hanging from the garage to make a nose, vintage buttons for eyes, and a red pipe cleaner for the mouth. I haven't made a snowman in who-knows-how-long, so I enjoyed the snowy fun just as much as Edmund did.

After Edmund went down for his nap, Douglas and I played Carcassonne while enjoying some coffee and Christmas cookies. (I put eggnog in my coffee, mmm!) I am finally getting the hang of that game because I've won four times in a row, whereas when we first got it, Douglas won the first nine games we played. (We're kind of board game nerds and keep track of who won, when and where we played, and other pertinent details by writing it all down on the top of the game lid.)

What are you looking forward to during your Christmas break?

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Jesse Tree

Now that Edmund is three, we wanted to start some more meaningful Christmas traditions within our family. My mom did a Jesse Tree with my brother and me one year when we were kids, but for some reason it didn't become a yearly tradition. I remembered and liked the idea, however, and so this year I found a set of ornaments from Etsy seller Inspired Traditions. (If you are unfamiliar with the meaning of a Jesse Tree, she provides a good explanation in her ornament listings.)

The ornaments come with a little booklet that explain each symbol and give suggested scripture reading, so we've been doing that each morning at breakfast. The ornaments are simplistic, just little wooden discs hung with twine, with colorful but plain symbols on each one. The illustration style reminds me of what you might see on banners and cloths in more traditional churches. I like the visual symbolism, and it's certainly easier for a toddler who can't read yet.

My mom donated a four-foot Christmas tree that she wasn't using, so Edmund has his own little tree. It's nice that he can decorate it however he wants and I don't worry if he takes ornaments off and puts them back on, or if they're not hung in a very picturesque fashion. I think this will make a really lovely addition to our family Advent traditions in years to come.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"The Lamb"

I'm greatly enjoying all my Christmas music and I've been pulling up a few favorites on YouTube, too. I can't embed this one, but I can send you over to YouTube to see the King's College choir perform John Tavener's setting of William Blake's poem, "The Lamb." I rather enjoy the slightly bizarre quality of the music; it matches up with my mental image of William Blake.