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Archive for December 2013

Christmas traditions – continued

When our kids were little, we started a tradition that I can’t even remember how we got started.  You’ve heard of the ‘elf on the shelf’ that seems to be popular this year, well ours is ‘Baby Jesus, not in the manager’!

When we put out our manger scene every year, we do not put baby Jesus is the manger, we hide him somewhere, in the specified room.  The person who hides him is the person that found him the previous year.  We do this until Christmas Eve and then at midnight, or earlier depending on the ages of your children, the last person to find him gets to put him in the manager.

When we first started, our daughter was only 3 or so.  We had hidden the baby in an easy place, so she could find him, and as she ran down the stone entry way, so excited to show us that she had found him, she dropped him and broke him.  She was heartbroken that she had ‘broken’ baby Jesus.  After that we got a hard plastic set, which had a baby that could be removed from the manager, and have used that one since, adding pieces to it every year.  We probably have 50 pieces including animals, wise men, shepherds, and of course the blessed family.

We select one room, so it doesn’t take forever to find him, and gives us all a chance to find and hide him many times.  It can get pretty crazy at the end of Christmas Eve, before the clock strikes 12:00.  EVERYONE is looking super hard, so they can have the honor of putting the baby in the manager.  Our kids are grown, and will still try to find and hide him whenever they are over.  I can’t wait for my Grandkids to get old enough that they can join in.

Have fun with this, make up your own rules, and make sure to include young and old alike.  But watch out for those who will hide the goat, trying to make you think it’s baby Jesus!!

Merry Christmas!

Shelley Brooks

Christmas Traditions

From our own Keith Holmes:

The day after Thanksgiving Day, we have a tradition which starts in the morning, sleeping in, and then a nice late breakfast. Then (depending on the time of the Nebraska football game, we start taking down the Thanksgiving decorations, and start hauling up the Christmas decorations.

Late in the afternoon, when most of the shoppers are worn out and heading home, we load up the family and head out to buy our Christmas tree. After a hunt that would make Esau proud, tracking, surrounding, and sizing and ultimately hauling the tree between our shoulders as a prize fit to be mounted in the living room, we wrap (in that plastic netting), buy and mount the tree onto the top of our car.

Proudly displaying for all to see, that they did not get the best tree that Omaha had to offer. As soon as we have our tree, we head out to dinner at a local restaurant, usually a BBQ joint, where we regale one another of tales of the hunt, or what else happened on the day.

Upon our return home, full of food and mirth, we take the Christmas tree in, and prepare it for tomorrow, when the Carols will play on the stereo (or Pandora on the computer these days), and we will decorate the simple pine tree transforming it into a visual treat for the eyes, topped off by an angel to remind us of the heralding of birth of our savior.

Let others know how your family ‘captures’ your Christmas tree.  Is it as dramatic as Keith’s, or do you trudge down to the basement to pull yours from a dark storage area, because there are those in the house that are allergic to a live tree?