Christmas at the Bell Home

All my favourite blogs are busy writing about Christmas, and I realize I haven't really talked much about how we're celebrating the holidays. My plan was to write weekly on what I'm learning through Advent, but I haven't been too diligent with that. I must admit, I was doing really well with meditating on scripture and digging deep over Christmas until the Sandy Hook tragedy. It's really knocked me off the rails and I'm struggling to do...everything.

So here are some things we DIDN'T do this year

>> send a Christmas card. We never do this. I admire people who send Christmas cards, especially ones with their beautiful family. Thank you everybody who sent us a card. Our bad that we didn't send you one back.
>> bake. My mom baked in my kitchen while I laid on the couch (because I was sick!) But seriously, I have zero desire to bake this year.
>> advent calendar. Remember how I was so excited about the Advent Calendar I made? We have seriously done like four of the "tasks" on the advent calendar, so that was kind of a flop. In future years I would focus on things like reading scripture and sharing your gratitude with your family, rather than things like having a picnic by the tree and baking cookies for your neighbours.
>> pushing santa. Pen is seven-months-old, so we are clearly very far away from having to talk about Santa in our home. We did a Santa picture, but other then that we haven't talked at all about Santa in our home or to our daughter. My friend Emily wrote a great blog, which basically covers how we also feel about Santa.

Penelope and Santa. I was pretty surprised she wasn't freaking out.

Here's what we have been doing for Christmas

>> singing lots. We love music, which is hilarious because neither Daniel or I can sing, at all. Daniel has discovered some amazing Christmas CD's, and we've spent most of this month singing Christ-centered songs.
>> drinking mulled wine. I really, really wanted to try mulled wine. So, I tried it. It was alright.
>> reading lots. I've really enjoyed reading the Gospel of John, as well as the Gospel accounts of Christ's birth. I've spent a ton of time this month reading different Christmas books, and other books just for fun. It's been a great way for me to just relax and rest during this busy season.
>> shouting JOY TO THE WORLD! For the past two years Daniel and I have opened up the door and shouted JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD HAS COME, as soon as we wake up Christmas morning. The first year we were engaged and Daniel spent the morning at my house, and last year we had a baby in my belly. This year, we'll be spreading the joy with Penelope in our arms, and perhaps in 2013, Pen will be shouting right along with us!
>> spending time with family. We're spending lots of time with family, whether it be our spiritual family at Compass Point, or our Bell-Zerafa family. On Christmas Day we will be going to my Grandparents home and Daniel's parents. It's bound to be a full day! We still haven't decided WHEN we'll start celebrating Christmas at home, with just the two of us and our kids, but this year is not the year!
>> being thankful. Finally, the biggest thing we're doing this year is being thankful. For the gift of family and having each other. for our daughter and the beauty and wonder she brings to our life. for our home and all of the ways we have been provided for this past year. most importantly, for our Lord. For his humility, for his grace, for the joy he gives us each day.

Our First Christmas, Dating (2009)

Our Second Christmas, Engaged (2010)

Our Third Christmas, Married (2011)
...and both with child

How are YOU spending Christmas this year? What are some things you've skipped this year?

1 comment:

  1. I love the photos! Your family is just so beautiful.
    You're not the only one who skipped out on some things this year.
    This Christmas, I've just done the bare minimum. Health issues have really prevented me from doing more. Yesterday I got my Christmas shopping done, and just put up my (mini) tree. I've been sporadically reading from an Advent book, but I feel so unprepared.

    I had such high hopes - of doing daily Advent readings to prepare my heart, doing some DIY projects for the decorations, Christmas baking for family and friends, getting a real Christmas tree, getting my shopping done early. Anyway, I've let go of a lot of that. I think we all need to give ourselves grace. :) I don't need to do all those things I listed; I just need more of Jesus this Christmas.


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