We have many Christmas traditions in our family. Many are old; taken from our own childhood Christmases and many are new that we have started or developed over time.
We decorate the house to a "t" - with more and more decorations and lights every year (it seems).
We have Christmas Eve dinner with a dear family friend that we don't see enough due to busy kids schedules.
We wait until the coldest, snowiest, wetest, ickiest of days to go get our Christmas tree (Because after years of trying to plan and always getting bad weather, we've just decided to go ahead and plan for the bad weather because we know there won't be crowds!)
The Christmas countdown calendar was something that Mike bought a few years back. He pulled it out that year on December 1st, ready to "set it up" and start the countdown. I think it was about 6 hours later when it was actually "ready", after Mike cut out 25 different little shapes and glued them together and hooked on the strings. But, now its done and all we have to do each year now is hang it up on December 1st.
The Advent wreath is new this year. I don't know what made me think about it but I decided that as part of our homeschooling curriculum this year that I'd like to make sure the kids know the story of Jesus as well as the other Christmas stories that they can recite from memory. I'm interspersing Bible stories (from Luke, which has the best account of the life of Jesus) with Christmas around the world traditions, focusing on areas from our heritage (Germany and England) and our closeby neighbors (Canada and Mexico)
So, I scrambled this past week to find an advent wreath. After several calls to crafts stores, and numerous conversations with people who didn't even know what an advent wreath was (that's a bit sad), I found one at the Christian bookstore at the mall. BUT, they didn't have any candles.
And, my internet research shows that the meaning of candles has changed over the years and through the different religious implementations of the advent wreath.
We have 4 Royal Blue candles to signify the celebration of the birth of Christ. We will light another one each Sunday until Christmas Eve, when we will add a white candle in the middle to signify the birth.
This is our newest Christmas tradition