Fierce tried a gingerbread cookie for the first time and LOVED it. He was so mad when I took it away that his face went immediately to a square frown and then a pout. I let him have it one more time and he sucked on it as if he would get every morsel down before it got taken away again. Which happened quite quickly and I was rewarded with a complete meltdown by my protesting kiddo.
Christmas Eve was celebrated at our house this year with the Almeida clan. I decided to start a new tradition doing an “Around the World Christmas.” Each year we will pick out five countries and learn how they celebrate Christ’s birth. I put something to illustrate each country in a picture box and let my nephew, Asher, open each one and then mark off the country on a map as we went.
We talked about China first and how Chinese Christians are apart of the underground church. When I was a kid, a missionary from China had said that they only kept pieces of scripture on them instead of the whole Bible and then when everyone got together they would read the scriptures as a whole. For the illustration, I printed out Luke chapter 2 and cut out a paragraph for each person. Asher distributed them and we all read about the birth of Christ.
Box #2 revealed Korean candy. They celebrate Christmas a lot like the USA, so I thought we could try some lychee gummy candy. It tasted pretty good!
In Sweeden, they put candles on the Christmas tree to remember how St. Lucia was a martyr for Christ. I bought a set of battery powered candles and Asher thought we should put the candles on the top of the tree since I do not have a star yet.
Ethiopians dance and play drums while singing Ethiopian Christmas carols all the way up and into the church on Christmas Day. So, I bought a mini Ethiopian drum that has a hand painted Biblical scene on it’s surface. I played some Ethiopian music while William played the drum and Asher danced all over the living room.
For our final country we talked about El Salvador. Asher opened the box to find all kinds of kids fireworks. The people from El Salvador light huge fireworks to celebrate Christ’s birth. While the adults did sparklers and snaps, Asher’s favorites were the confetti poppers and the smoke bombs. The festive atmosphere was so fun, we might just have to adopt fireworks into our yearly tradition :)
Christmas is a huge celebration at the Kalawarts and it starts long before the big day. The day after Thanksgiving, all of the ladies on my mom’s side of the family go shopping. This year we went to Detroit and Fierce got to experience his first “shop until you drop.” He did great and can’t wait to go next year! My dad takes the opportunity of the house all to himself to decorate and this year we came back to a family room that was transformed into “Grandpa and Fierce’s Fort.” My dad already has plans to elaborate on it for next year so that they can both hide out.
On Christmas morning, my dad makes a big waffle breakfast with every topping you can imagine. It is soooo yummy. My parents also give each of us a stocking ~we are never too old for traditions. Fierce was pretty tired so he didn’t wake up until the presents were being given…smart kid 😉 Blake gave Fierce a cute little outfit that reminded me of my himself. Tate and Sam gave him a push corn popper toy. I thought it was cute that they thought of such a traditional toy. Lynnae and John gave him a “My 1st Christmas” Santa hat and booties with an ornament that you can put your child’s hand and footprint inside. I painted up Fierce’s hand and foot the very next day! My parents spoiled him rotten with all kinds of noise makers. He got a little police car he can ride and when his cousin Gratian came over, they both went for a joy ride.
Later in the day, my mom’s whole family came over for dinner and desert. It is so nice to see everyone together. Two of my cousins’s girls start a dance party every year. They always bring a routine to show us and then we all join as my dad plays music from every era. It is a lot of fun to take a step back and watch every face as they enjoy the day.
We truly thank you Lord for sending your son Jesus to this earth to save us so that we can one day live with you.