Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hippopotamuses , Traditions and Tom's

I love Christmas music. I love it so much that I can frequently be found listening to Christmas CD's in April or September. But not July, that's just way too cliche for me. And to further indulge my love of Christmas music, the best radio station in Northeast Ohio 95.5 the Fish plays Christmas music from Thanksgiving through Christmas day. And it may just be the best station because of the aforementioned Christmas music bonanza!

I love spiritual Christmas songs like Away In A Manger, Mary Did You Know and Silent Night and traditional songs like Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells and Rocking Around the Christmas Tree put me in a cheery Christmas mood. My favorite Christmas songs are by Third Day: Jesus, Light of the World and Christmas Like a Child. I absolutely LOVE both of these songs and recommend them to everyone. Especially if you have a heart for adoption you will love Christmas Like a Child. But with all of these wonderful songs there is one song that just brings my heart pure, unadulterated joy! And if you haven't heard it yet, well I won't even go there because I can not believe that everyone in the US has heard I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. And if you haven't heard it, are you living under a rock? Because this song is fabulous! Absolutely fabulous!

Alas, the only thing I don't like about the most fabulous song, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, is that it doesn't reflect anything about the real meaning of Christmas. And that is something I want to always be paramount for us, and of course for Gabriel.

To keep the real meaning of Christmas, along with the idea that after Jesus, being with family and friends is the best gift we could recieve this day we are trying to start/carry out family traditions with Gabe. Going to a tree farm and cutting down our tree is one of our traditions. Attending Eve service is also a tradition we hold dear to us. As well is the reading of the Christmas Story from the book of Luke Christmas morning before we do anything else.

And I'm so excited to carry these traditions on this year with Gabe, but Matt and I wanted to domore. More to keep the real meaning of Christmas alive to Gabriel. So this year, and for each year to come Gabe will get 3 gifts: something he needs, something he wants and a gift from the heart/a way to give back. There are many reasons for this but the main reasons are: a.) if 3 presents was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for us (Gabe) b.) the commercialism and consumerism of Christmas drive me nuts and by keeping Christmas simple we're keeping the real meaning closer to our hearts.

So while we're not 100% what we're getting Gabe for Christmas yet, please do not point out that Christmas is only 10 days a way, we thought we knew what his 3rd present was going to be. Deep in our hearts we know that one day Gabe will have a sibling from Ethiopia and Tom's Shoes gives back in Ethiopia. And then Tom's Shoes took their Tiny Tot's shoes off the internet and is relaunching them soon. I had hoped that they would be released before Christmas, but as Christmas is now only 10 days away, I'm wondering what to do. Do we find a different gift for Gabe? Or do we give him a Tom's shoes flag and order him shoes when they're released?

And I know that Gabe won't know that it's Christmas or care about opening gifts and eating yummy foods. Of course Gabe will love the Christmas music singing we'll do, he is the first person ever to smile when I sing, hehe! And of course he'll love visiting with family, the social baby that he has become, but I just want this Christmas to be special for him; it being his 1st and all and our 1st as a family of 3. And I know just having Gabe here to celebrate the birth of Jesus will make it remarkably special.

And now I'm looking for more (or different) traditions for us to do as a family. I think next year we'll bake cookies for the elderly in our neighborhood and deliver them. In the upcoming year, I'm going to dive into the Advent calander and old Advent traditions and see what we traditions we can bring into our family, traditions that keep Jesus and kindness to others at the forefront of our Christmas celebration.

So now I ask you, do you have any Christmas traditions that you and your family do? Something for the month of December, the advent season or even Christmas Eve or Christmas Day that you would like to share with our family. If all of the readers respond with a tradition or idea, well, we may have 5 new traditions to partake in next year :) Haha!

And, no post is complete without a picture of our baby Gabe:

Peace & Love, Meredith

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