We ate it in the Hershey Chocolate World parking lot at 3 p.m. We went on a trolley holiday lights ride at 530 p.m. Was wonderful. We sang Christmas Carols and ate Hershey kisses. We didn't have any children with us, but we enjoyed watching other parents and their children. Our DD went to her boyfriends Grandmother's house. She texted me for a while saying she missed me, and wanted my cooking. That she should have come home. I know it was just that she is used to the way I did things around the holidays. DH and I discussed how she needs to start her own new traditions. I gave her some game ideas (we are big on charades and word games when we have a crowd) and she disappeared for a few hours. Texted me later that things got better.
Christmas, was always a big deal. When DD was 5 years old it was a rough year financially. No cash. NONE. The only gifts under the tree were those from my students. I still don't open gifts from students until Christmas Eve (not that I get many, but for some reason, that year, so long ago almost 20! I had a truly abundant pile of wonderful gifts from students) We took turns unwrapping one at a time, ohhhhing and ahhhhing.
We try to focus on the meaning of the day. We have always been bible readers, but also don't believe we need to go to a building to be good Christians. We have tried to be giving, and forgiving, and keeping the story of baby Jesus' birth alive. It's why the Creche is more important in our house than the tree. Don't get me wrong, we put up a tree (later in the month due to my allergies, mold and dust on a fake one or a real one, doesn't matter I suffer after about two weeks) But it's the Nativity scene that means more in our house.
As I have gotten older, I have been gifted, or found at auctions, antique shops, tagsales more and more beautiful creches. While we were away for Thanksgiving (PA again!......we really need to purchase a residence there I think) I was so excited to see so many homes, so many BUSINESSES with a nativity scene on their property. Herr's Potato Chips not only put on a free drive through holiday light show but also have a HUGE and beautiful nativity scene in front of their factory. Private homes have them in their yards (as will we come tomorrow) but this one won the prize. It still doesn't do it justice. This is in front of their barn. At night it is even more amazing, with heralding angels and animals illuminated. Just stunning.
Another small house, with an amazing display
As we have gotten older, we have tried to gift experiences more than things. I have a milestone birthday coming up soon. This holiday trip was my gift. We went to the National Christmas Center that was truly inspiring and thought provoking. I went for the Creche collection, and spent time talking to the man who started it all (He is the Keeper of Christmas) and had to go back and thank him before we left. He refurbished some life sized nativities. Many of the items were his own. There is a full size walkable town of Bethlehem. Amazing.
What is great for our children to see is the above Woolworths Holiday replica. How simple things were compared to now. I think we should go back, that our children should not be using ipads and tablets before age 10. Imaginations are not blooming anymore. As an educator and a parent it troubles me.
I hope that everyone will remember, it's not just about the gifts. There is so much more we can do for our children.
Okay, rant over.