Take 5 with Kathy – "Anticipating Christmas…"

I love Christmas! Even more, I love getting ready for it! For the past week or so, I’ve been bringing up box after box (with some help from hubby), bag upon bag, flower arrangements, dragging plastic containers from under the bed, baking Christmas cookies, and decorating the house.

My nativity scene
The first thing I always look for is my nativity set and advent candle wreath. They take priority because for me, Christ is the centre of Christmas. When God sent His one and only Son to be born as a baby in a manger, it was the beginning of His plan to provide salvation for you and me. As I enjoy setting up the crèche and positioning the little figures around the Baby Jesus, I always marvel that God chose such humble surroundings for the birth of the King of kings. Isaiah prophesied of Christ’s coming in chapter 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Since today is the first Sunday of advent, we will be lighting the first candle on my wreath, a special tradition we have observed since my son was a little boy. As we look forward to Christmas day, we will light another candle each Sunday and on Christmas day, the centre Christ candle will be lit. I love this custom as it helps us keep focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

My Christmas village
The second decoration I set up each year is my Christmas village which reminds me of the Victorian era and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I started out with just three buildings over twenty years ago, and every season I have added something new. A few years ago my dad built me a 4’ by 3’ table to house my growing collection and it’s always such fun putting everything together. Perhaps the little girl in me comes alive as I lovingly place each piece and hook up all the lights, including lanterns and the flashing train signals. The train has long since stopped working, but a little imagination brings it to life. Once the New Year comes, I set up my village on the shelves of our entertainment stand as it is too pretty to pack away. There it stays until I get tired of winter somewhere around mid-March.

My winter tree
Of course, I also love my trees. Today I will begin decorating our 7.5 foot living room tree which is sheer enjoyment. It’s always fun unwrapping all the decorations many of which I’ve collected from our travels. My gingerbread tree (which is actually the top of our old tree which near the end was held together with duct tape) sits on a table in our family room and my winter tree (you guessed it – stays up until I get tired of winter) lights up a dark corner in our hallway. There’s also a tree on my front porch, and five small trees that I put in the planter there. Once they are all lit up, it just looks so pretty and festive! Then there are the many snowman ornaments, dolls dressed in winter clothes that I sewed for them, garlands and bows, Christmas platters and mugs, and my winter-theme bathroom decorations. Maybe some people think I go overboard, but it brings me such joy, especially with beautiful Christmas music playing in the background. One of my favourite carols is O Come, O Come Immanuel:

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

My Christmas village
As I anticipate Christmas this year, it is a little different now that my son is married. It’s time for some new traditions to be started as well as choosing which ones to hold on to. But the one observance that will never grow old and will always remain central is the reading of the Christmas story from Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20.

Joining:
Let’s keep Christ the centre of Christmas!

Until next Sunday,

Kathy

Joining:

November 27, 2011 - 6:48 pm

Pamela Gordon - You have a beautiful nativity set and Christmas village. It must be fun to put up so many trees inside and out. Lovely post today. Blessings, Pamela

November 27, 2011 - 11:17 pm

Pat's Pink Apron - Love your nativity scene and the village. I always wanted to get into making a village scene but never did. Very nice. Pat

November 28, 2011 - 1:54 am

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) - I just love it!
Stunning setting.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Hope to see you on my blog:)

November 28, 2011 - 2:32 pm

Marilyn - Wonderful Nativity Scene.. What a great post : ))

November 29, 2011 - 3:07 am

Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes - I agree with you that Christmas is such a special time and I love all the preparations, also. Another thing we have in common is that we put the navtivity scene and other symbols of the real meaning of Christmas out first. Your decorations are beautiful. I would like to invite you to share your baked goodies or decorations that pertain to a gingerbread theme at my party starting Dec. 1st.
You can get the details on my blog. I look forward to seeing you there and also look forward to seeing more of your Christmas decorating.——–Shannon

November 29, 2011 - 11:56 am

Smoochy Kiss - I love that you keep the true meaning of Christmas alive whilst incorporating some of your own traditions. I think I might copy your candle idea. My youngest daughter was only asking me on Sunday at Mass) what the 5 candles were for….
Do they represent the same in your church…Love, Hope, Peace,Joy and Christ???

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