Saturday, December 3, 2011

Decking Our Halls!!

Living in Haiti, its very difficult to get into the Christmas mood. There could be a lot of reasons for this. The fact that we dont go to store after store that is blaring Christmas music, with windows full of Christmas decorations, and all sorts of Christmas displays throughout may be part if it. Or the fact that as we are driving around our radio doesn't have Christmas music on every channel (actually we dont even have English channels!) and that we aren't passing house after house covered in lights and decorations, might be another reason why. A lack of friends, family, and holiday events might be another. But one of the biggest reasons is because here in Haiti we don't have the Chistmas weather. Don't get me wrong, I love the 80 degree days and being able to wear shorts in December, but it doesn't set the Christmas mind set.

As I think of all these things that are missing, all the things that make my Christmas Christmas, and realize how I'm totally missing it all. It wasnt snowing out when Jesus was born, it was probably just as warm as it is here. There wasn't chrstmas music and decorations every where. He was born in a barn, without any thing nice at all. There wasn't anything making that day special except for Jesus Himself. Boy do I have a lot to learn.

I'm not saying that Jesus is against lights, decorations, and Christmas music, as long as we don't leave him out and instead use this time to come together with friends and family to celebrate his birth. This year were trying to balance both of these. How do we allow our kids to enjoy some of the things we grew up with, allow them to get excited about Christmas, but also teach him the true reason we are celebrating?

Thankfully for us, living in Haiti makes it difficult to have the Hallmark Christmas many of us dream of. We arent overwhelmed with temptations to forget why we are celebrating like we would be if we lived in the States. We are doing our best to give our son the best of both worlds. Therefore we have been busy "Decking Our Halls" but we've also done our best to remember Jesus.

Even from a young age, Nick has been obsessed with Christmas lights, so we knew this had to be apart of our family traditions. We ordered 12 strands online to decorate our house and my Mom brought in 2 strands as well! Thankfully they are all LED lights, and all of them together only use the same amount of power as one fan. In other words, we had to find a way to justify using them! We can tell already that Eventz is going to have the same obsession as his daddy does! He is in love with the lights and enjoyed helping decorate! We wanted to go big, to have our whole house shiny and glimmering, but we were missing a few key pieces. We didn't have a tree topper, and of course theres no where in Northern Haiti to buy one, so I had to make one from scratch. We also needed a little more glitter, so the boys and I had to make some snow flakes to hang up around the house.

Growing up I always had an advent calendar to help us count down to Christmas. Again, being in Haiti, I have no way of getting 25 small gifts for each of the boys to open. I instead had to come up with something else for them. Thankfully matches ar easy to come by, so I took 25 match boxes, dumped out the matches, and decorated the box in Christmas paper, and labeled each one 1-25. Inside of each box is a little note, and every morning the boys get to take turns opening that days box. On the note is an activity we will do as a family. Some of them include, watching a Christmas movie and eating popcorn, going on an adventure walk, making Christmas cookies, going on a tractor ride with Daddy, Having a picnic, eating Breakfast for dinner, etc. Even though the boys are much to young to understand what's going on, it's a way for us to spend quality time as a family this Christmas season. Lets be honest, I think I'm enjoying these times way more than the kids!

Also, to ensure we aren't leaving Jesus out of this holiday, each night while the boys are playing, Nick and I read a devotion out loud that goes through the new testament and leads to the birth of Christ. We don't make the boys sit through it, because that would be impossible, but feel that even if they hear it in the background as they are driving their trucks around, it'll still benefit them in some way! Living in Haiti makes having family traditions much more interesting. There not impossible, but they take some creative planning. I'm so very thankful to have the Internet that helps me come up with some great ideas to help entertain our crew during this time of year! Here are a few pics of our family decking the halls!

First you untangle the lights!

Then you make sure they all work!
Wedly of course LOVED all the hats!

Building the Tree!

One of my Favorites! 
Mommy, where do you want this Garland?

Making Christmas Cookies with Grandma!

Hanging the Tree Topper Mommy Made!
Look Daddy!

1 comment:

  1. SOOOOO cute! Love your creativity!
    I have to admit, going to Haiti has mad me think twice about lots of things about Christmas. Do you know how much it costs to cut a live tree? I never even thought twice about it, but this year I did! I'm finding it tough to balance too....we are thinking of you & praying for you! Your Christmas Card is on the way.