Every year there seems to be so much emphasis on the buying and giving of gifts that Andy and I hope to carve out a bit of reality and focus for the girls at Christmas. In our house we celebrate the birth of Christ as the centerpiece to our Christmas and faith. We hope to instill that in our girls. Some of the ways we do that is to anticipate the birth in several ways. First we make sure the fisher-price nativity set is out and the girls have a chance to see all of the people that God used that first Christmas. I love that they can play with it and it has a button with music so we can sing "Away In a Manger." This is such fun. Secondly we read the Christmas story in a Pop up book which makes it fun, engaging and has the actual scripture instead of some weird holiday story. Third we use an advent calendar this year we have one that uses stickers for each day and we have one with pockets that you can take out each day and add to the nativity scene. I know some advent calendars have chocolates or little gifts but I really want Charlotte and Gemma to focus on the birth and gift of Jesus then anticipating a treat each day. Finally, my mom began reading us this story when we were kids and so we read "The Crippled Lamb" by Max Lucado. It is such a sweet story and I tear up everytime I read it but it really is fantastic. What do you do for traditions? How do you celebrate the season? Have a very Merry Christmas!