Monday, December 19, 2011

Almost here!

     Uh-oh!  Little hands are very busy this year.  Tommy is into everything!  I am really getting my exercise keeping up with him!   We're trying to teach him to say "HO! HO! HO!"   He said it once, but won't say it again.   Of course, he was scared of Santa! 


Thomas, the Christmas elf
    Remember to put plenty of safe toy decorations down low for the baby to enjoy, and fragile, valuable treasures up higher.
Distraction- my favorite tactic, for when I have to yell,"Don't touch",  Quick, show him something he can touch!
    I made plenty of little play areas for my favorite toddlers, and put my tree up high, out of reach, on a table.






It's fun to have a nativity set that they can actually touch,
and we can play with together and teach the kids about Jesus.  Amazon.com has several.  just "Google" children's nativity sets, there are dozens!

Playmobile Nativity Set

  The older grandchildren are most eager to help me with the baking.  Oh, this is my favorite thing to do too!   It's good to have some dough premixed for gingerbread boys.  I also make up some sugar cookie dough. They love to roll it out and cut out and decorate!


Martha Stewart's gingerbread boys. We didn't get ours done yet.

We hope to make ours as pretty as these! 
These gorgeous cookies were first blogged by Mangoxo

 Grown children need us at this time of year too!  Young mommies can especially use a little help with their babies when they need to do their Christmas shopping, and do all the  holiday preparations. There's so much extra to do now!   Take some of the pressure off of them!  Remember how hard it was to do it all, with kids underfoot?  I like to give them a break, and I get to be with my sweeties!  One day we wrapped presents while the little guy was napping, then I stayed with him while Mommy went Christmas shopping.

Mommy stays fresh and happy, with a little help from Grandma!

   I love to stay with the kids while they go to work or out for the evening.  This is my chance to teach them Christmas songs, watch silly movies, and most importantly, tell them the story of Jesus'  birth, "the reason for the season".  They are never too young to hear stories and why not tell them important ones, and start a tradition of reading  A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, and other books with lessons about the true meaning of the holidays?
Lovely image  is from sweet Coralie at http://www.vintagecottagehome.blogspot.com/
   Grandparents have a really special role here, teaching traditions and and creating family rituals that will be passed down forever.  These customs keep us connected, and give the children really good values. They really are listening, and observing our practices. They're looking up to us!  It's more important today than ever to be strong and wise, and to read and  talk with them!






Grandma and Tommy
   Grown single children need a little extra TLC too at this stressful time of year!  It's exam time for college and law school students!  Why not take them a hot meal, or some fresh fruit?  Maybe offer a little help with their tree.  It's a good time to give them the special ornaments you've saved from their childhood all these years.
   My daughter always appreciates some home-baked goodies now, or my offers to bake with her, for the treats she wants to make for her friends and entertaining.-

Julie made a few cookies for her friends!


Amy, my shining star,  is a law student. Here she is taking a break between exams


I think the best gift I can possibly give is myself.  My kids seem to need me still, to share family stories,  even though they've heard them before.  I think it's important to maintain traditions our families hold dear, attending school programs, and local ceremonies. At home, baking together is the perfect opportunity to talk and laugh and sing.  The delightful smells of cookies and nut breads baking makes the home so sweet and cozy, a part of Christmas families always cherish! 
  It is really thoughtful, and feels so good, to make cookies to share with lonely or elderly neighbors,  grandparents, bachelors, and coworkers. 

I have a little prayer that I said on my daughter's wedding day and I think it's appropriate
for hectic days at Christmastime.
Because, amidst all the fun and gaiety, most families have some tension or friction  between somebody or other!  Some people I know are hurting, have lost loved ones, have serious health problems, drug and alcohol addictions.  Others are unemployed, homeless, and suffering from emotional problems.  There are some really struggling, and even some who have no happiness at Christmas because of their pain and suffering.  While I go about my business of making merry,
 I can't ignore this.   I need God's help to deal with all this,  to be wise, strong, sensitive,
 and to be a peacemaker.


Dear Lord,
Help me be the essence of grace
 for my children today. 
Let me remember to give you praise
 for the unforgettable joyous moments,
 and give me patience for the
dreadful, tedious moments when others
disappoint me and 
everything isn't exactly perfect.
May I always give you the glory!
In Jesus' name, Amen  

Have a lovely Christmas with your loved ones,
 and don't forget those who don't have anyone who cares!

  

A Very Merry Christmas to you!
Love, Linda

5 comments:

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Linda,
Yours is the sweetest blog I've visited today. Love all your sentiments, words of advice, and prayer at the end. Thank you so much for your visit to Christmas Pudding and leaving such a charming comment. It touched my heart.
Love your blog, and I'm a new follower. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Blessings,
Sandi

Kathryn Ross said...

Linda! Bless you - what a precious post of all good things and beauty! So glad you are enjoying your holiday with your children and grandchildren!
I may take a leaf from your book here with activity baskets for the kids. Although I won't have my grandbaby for Christmas, we do have some friends wit small ones we'll be entertaining next week and our home is no longer built around kids. I was just thinking about this this morning, too!
Joy!
Kathy

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

This is a beautiful post. Wishing you and your lovely family a very merry Christmas and many blessings in 2012!

Kay Swatkowski said...

Linda, you have such a lovely blog. It has put me in the Christmas mood at 3:20 a.m.! May you have a very Merry Christmas with your beautiful family.
Kay

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Hi Linda.... Thank you for coming by.... Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family too. What cuties.

Blessings,
Spencer