Christmas Traditions in Siestaville

Good morning, Sweet Things!

It’s one of those rare days around the Moore house when we get to sleep late. I got up about 7:30 because I like to have a few minutes before everybody else rouses around here. I just got finished with my quiet time and had you on my mind so I thought I might show you what life looks like from exactly where I’m sitting:

My man and I usually get a tree that is way too big for our low ceiling and have to cut two feet off the top. After all, we are the Moores and if medium is good, more is better. This year we got one that fits our size room a little more appropriately and is less accommodating to Star and Geli for chewing and climbing and all-around-dragging. Up front is me in my favorite house slippers. They are called “The Pinks” (forenamed by Melissa and I when we got our original pairs). Everyone in the family knows The Pinks and God forbid one of the dogs getting hold of them. I am very picky about my house slippers because my man keeps the house ten degrees below zero and my feet nearly freeze into nubs.

To the right of The Pinks you can see the very top of my favorite coffee cup. I’m annoyed at myself for not getting it in the picture better but I don’t have time to take another one and upload it. My Greek tutor, Dr. Joe Wall, and his beautiful wife gave me a set of dessert plates and cups and saucers from Russia where they train pastors. (Replicas of Catherine the Great’s official dishes.) I don’t have a ton of attachments to things but, if my house caught on fire, these would come out right after the baby pictures and the dogs. Coffee and tea drinker that I am, I love delicate cups and saucers. So do Amanda and Melissa and we have used this set no less than a thousand times. They have the added sentimental value of coming from people I love and respect so they make English tea or fresh brewed coffee taste even better.

On each side of the tree are dolls that hold candles and move their arms (hence, the blur). I’ve had them for twenty years and they mesmerize me. I could sit and stare at them for hours. Annabeth is also completely taken with them. She stands right in front of them and needs to talk to me at length about them. The one on the right has a hood on her red velvet coat and AB likes to put it on and off and on and off and with the delicate touch of a chimpanzee. Nonetheless, the doll stands tall and takes it like a trooper.  If you’re wondering where the presents are, we don’t bring them out until Christmas Day because they take up too much room in our den.

Shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell them you saw what’s in them but these are my girls’ stockings:

I made each of these from kits with my own little hands right after each girl was born. (Amanda was born ten minutes after we were married. Not really. Nine and a half months to be exact and, no, I’m not kidding.) Of course, I also made a stocking for Keith and one for me. I still can’t believe I did it. (Don’t you dare ask how hard it could be. This might as well have been chiseling heads on Mt. Rushmore for me.) That was back when I had more hope of being the home goddess. I may have even had a sewing machine back then. I had high hopes of carrying on family tradition. My mom could sew anything and I didn’t have a store bought dress until junior high. My older sister, Gay, and I dressed alike all our young lives and still think it might be fun.

Uh oh. Melissa and Keith are up so I’ve run out of time. Here’s one more. It’s a picture the girls and I took yesterday at Saltgrass Steak House with Melissa’s I-phone on our Christmas shopping day. By 2:00, we hadn’t gotten a single gift but we’d eaten twice.

Oh gracious. I love those girls so much. They remain the greatest proof in my life of God’s inconceivable redemption. Even more than the ministry, as thankful as I am for it. God didn’t just do a miracle in my serving life. He did a miracle in my HOME. In my own troubled family. How Keith or I either one did not destroy this home is a mystery only God can explain.

OK, so now it’s your turn. What holds a special Christmas memory or tradition around your home? Do tell!

I love you guys so much.

PS. OK, because you insisted, here’s a close up:

And I couldn’t bring myself to show it to you empty so you just caused me to have a fourth cup of strong coffee. I’m typing really fast and feeling extra energetic. Going to get off and do handsprings in the den until I calm down.


399 Responses to “Christmas Traditions in Siestaville”

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  1. 151
    Katrina says:

    Awww, I feel all Christmasy after reading this! Thanks for sharing your special memories. I pray that you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

  2. 152
    Cindy says:

    So excited to have 3 of my 4 daughters home, and 2 of my 4 granddaughters here for Christmas! Wish they could all be here. Our girls used to sleep on the floor of our room on Christmas eve so everyone would wake up at the same time, we’d get up and read Luke 2 then head down for presents…miss those sleepovers!

  3. 153
    Linda says:

    Your question came with perfect timing! Tonight our girls opened their annual gift: a beautiful ornament. They are now 22 and 25 years old and I told them they now have enough ornaments to decorate their own trees someday. Most years I buy them one special, unique, expensive, gorgeous ornament and other years, a box full of solid color ones. This year they are heavy, deep red crackly glass balls with mercury glass blown in…breath taking! I got a little bit different shape for each one and I think they love these more than any others they’ve received.

    I love your cup and plate. The blue shade is so beautiful! I can see why they are so special to you.

    I received my order of spirals this week and they sure are A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.!!! Can’t wait to write in mine and see my girl’s reactions when they get theirs. It’s going to be the “best of show” in their stockings this year!

    Merry Christmas to the Moore family and all the Siestas!

  4. 154
    Jeanne AF wife with 3 says:

    Hi Beth, I have made a change to my name for replying on here. In the past it has been Jeanne Messer(which is my real name so that has not changed) but now I am going to sign in as Jeanne AF wife with 3. This kinda describes my life in a phrase. I am an Air Force wife with 3 wonderful kids. So now we established that I am the same person I am going to respond to the question of Christmas traditions.

    We have been married for 16 years but have only spent about 9 years together since my husband has been deployed during the holidays. Because of this, we have bought a military ornament every year. They vary in what they might be from snowmen to bears to santas. The one thing they all have in common is that the ornament always must be wearing camo. The kids love picking out these ornaments. We also pick out a family ornament and the kids get to pick out a favorite ornament of their own. For the first time this year, we let the kids have their own tree with all of their ornaments and they love it. We also continue to bake Christmas goodies from receipes that have been passed on from my great grandmother. My husband and I celebrated Christmas differently growing up, with him celebrating on Christmas Eve due to his brother’s birthday on Christmas and me celebrating on Christmas Day. So we made a compromise. Since we had kids, they get to open 1 gift on Christmas Eve(which is always pajamas 😉 and then on the day of we have breakfast (always monkey bread), then open stockings in our new pjs, then read the Christmas story from the Bible, and finally the kids open their gifts. As far as gifts… we only buy three gifts for each of our children…one from Mom and Dad and one each from their siblings. We explained that Jesus only received three gifts so they would get three as well. HOWEVER, we also receive gifts from 5 sets of aunts/uncles and three sets of grandparents. So our kids don’t lack for gifts just not that many from us.
    We have great big birthday party for Jesus after our Christmas meal with a cake included. It is so much fun to watch our kids get excited for Jesus’ birthday.
    Praying each of you experience the Light of Jesus during this Christmas season. Love to each of you and many blessings!

  5. 155
    Susan says:

    Like you, one of my favorite traditions is hanging stockings! My YiaYia (Greek for Grandmother) made my stocking in 1978 from a kit just like yours. My Mom made one for my husband when he was my fiancé a few years ago (which I thought was the best thing ever) until our sweet Savannah (now 17 months old) celebrated her first Chirstmas last year and was gifted her VERY own. They are precious, intricate, matching, and best of all – hand made by two women that I love and respect. My Grandmother passed long before the birth of my baby girl, but it gives me SUCH joy seeing these stockings hung by the chimney with care.
    God Bless You and Yours…

  6. 156
    Kelly says:

    Ok, it’s a doozy. When my kids were small, they had to sleep with us Christmas Eve night so I could get up and “see them see” all thier Chrsitmas stuff – they are home from college and guess what???? They STILL have to sleep with us or at least in our room. I don’t care how old they are – I still need to “see them see”.

  7. 157
    shannon says:

    Our christmas “elves” Bob and Britany just rolled our den 🙂 Merry Christmas to you 🙂

  8. 158
    mk (go-between) says:

    I love traditions and we have a lot (or so I am told by others). :*) We start off the Christmas season with drawing names and doing secret nice things for that person, secretly adding a piece of straw to the cradle waiting for the baby Jesus each time. We have done since the girls were little and it seems to help with this busy time of year to keep things a little more harmonious. We do Christmas cookies with grandparents and read the new Christmas book we get, make fudge and almond rocca to give out with the Christmas cookies, zoo lights, a Christmas concert, and of course advent reading and devotions at night.
    Then Christmas eve brings homemade seafood chowder, and candlelight service and wrapping the presents. Yep, we wait and do them all then and then when everyone is in bed I bring them out for Christmas morning surprise. Christmas morning we have homemade cinnamon rolls and we each show what we are giving Jesus that year, and open presents. The rest of day changes every year. (Have to have some spontaneity! ;*)
    I wholeheartedly agree with you Beth, God is an amazing God to allows us the blessing of seeing such godly woman as our daughters.
    Merry Christmas!

  9. 159
    Sarah says:

    God has brought us home for a season. I am cherishing this time that we have here. For the last 3 years ,and next year being our last, I have been able to have my grandparents and parents over for Christmas Eve dinner. Sometimes we have had to change the day because of my husband’s work schedule. It leaves a pleasant warm fuzzy feeling that lingers. Christmas morning we open gifts and eat either streusal coffee cake or homemade cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate. Christmas is a wonderful time but it excites me because it is just the beginning of the promise that was fulfilled. OUR SAVIOUR WAS BORN!!! The story did not end there. It continues with us being able to have the one on one relationship with God. We are able to live out that part of the story every day. Thank you my God and my Saviour for all you have done for us. It does not seem like enough to say thank you and praise you. May our lives continue to be an extension of that thank you!

  10. 160
    Julie Marler says:

    Several years ago my husband came up with an amazing idea! He actually got teary-eyed explaini us to create our “own” family Christmas storybook to read to the grandchildren on Christmas morning right before opening gifts. He did it all – He got the Christmas Story out of Luke 2 and divided it into equal parts. He gave each of our children and spouses. We only had 2 grandchildren at that time – and they were only 2 and 3 so couldn’t participate. My husband then bought colored pencils and paper and gave that to each of children/in-law children along with their specific verses. I typed these verses on white paper and each person had to draw/color a picture that went with their verse. Yes, these were all adults in their 20’s. So each of us drew a picture and I had all pages laminated and bound. We gave each family their copy on Christmas that year. My husband now reads out of that book every Christmas morning to our 8 grandchildren and they LOVE IT!! And we never fail to laugh and teach each other about their silly drawings!

  11. 161
    Ada - Lovin Him says:

    Thanks for your heartwarming post Beth! I made a beautiful stocking for my firstborn’s first Christmas and got half way through cross-stitching one for my second who’s now 25 and with a son of his own and my first grandson – maybe I’ll pull it out and finish it for little Samuel!
    My hubby also keeps it cold enough to see your breath so I spend the cold MI winter around home in my fluffy blue robe, wool socks and fluffy slippers.

    Favorite Christmas memories – oh so many! I have to admit that I’ve let several of the traditions slide this year – just had the unparalleled delight of spending a week in CA getting acquainted with that beautiful new grandson and returned home completely exhausted! He’s a snuggle bug by day and roaring lion at night so we walked the floors most nights and I realized why the Lord gives babies to the young! I’m not sure what my teen daughter and young adult sons did at home while I was away but I came home to overflowing hampers, piles of mail and a schedule full of vet, dentist, eye appts. etc. and no energy to prepare the house for Christmas but we will hold on to two of my fondest traditions – we’ll have a birthday coffee-cake for Jesus on Christmas morning and we’ll pack up and head to our childhood hometown of Niagara Falls on Christmas afternoon so we can be there in time to have Christmas dinner with our families who live there.
    I pray your Christmas is Merry and Bright and overflowing with every good and perfect gift from above!
    Love you,

  12. 162
    Ginny Otsuka says:

    So many memories that I am really depending on this Christmas. My mom passed away last month and I am just putting one foot in front of the other. I have 14 grandchildren and at 58 years old I am now the Matriarch so everyone keeps telling me. (my dad passed away 25 years ago) I had to hit life with a bag. The first two weeks in November I went to 4 memorials. One I planned for my mother..then Thanksgiving for 45 Christmas Eve for 45 and Christmas Day. All that to say…so many. My mom did crochet all of us stockings, so that will be a treasure to smile about. Beth, when grieving and my spinning mind gets to overwhelming, I turn on one of your teachings from Life Today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • 162.1
      Marlinda says:

      Ginny, Praying for God’s Peace and Comfort to flood your mind during this of great loss, and Strength for the days ahead.

  13. 163
    stillanon says:

    Beth, off topic but am up wrapping presents and had a great idea that is too late to create for someone by tomorrow… (funny it’s like your spiral idea which i just saw – i need to check in more often!) but how cool would it be to load one of those digital picture frames with bible verses???? You could do them in different fonts and colors—i’m lovin’ it and i too feel that it is an inspiritional idea…i’m blessed by his “nudgings” Merry Christmas to All! (maybe i’m supposed to make one for me!!!)

  14. 164
    Sallie Howell says:

    Christmas traditions are a plenty at our house. My Granny made our stockings and matching tree skirt. My son was given my Father’s (he passed away before I married and they share the same name). My Mother carries on the tradition of hand-sewing sequined stockings for family and friends that her mother had made when they were young.

    My Mother always baked for friends in the community. I remember the smell of Strawberry Bread baking. We made gift boxes of homemade candies and bread to deliver on Christmas Eve. We waited until the local radio station was playing the showchoir Christmas program. (Mama was my music teacher all of my life). What special memories I have of delivering to the older people in our church. Some would be waiting on our car to drive up.

    I now carry on a similar tradition with our family. The Strawberry Bread is baked. We deliver to neighbors, teachers and friends. It is Christmas when the stockings are hung and the Strawberry Bread is baking.

    Our family has it’s own Christmas Eve tradition that we could not live without. In fact, we drove home tonight from the in-laws to not miss the special day… Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at our Church. Our children look forward to this service every year. Afterwards, we head home to enjoy the pot of gumbo that has been waiting all day! Merry Christmas Siestas!

  15. 165
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Here’s a new (what I hope will be) tradition. Last month one of my girlfriends turned fifty and part of her party was each attendee bringing some great find from a second hand store (since she is like the Queen of Second Hand Shopping). While finding her a cool, funky scarf, I happened upon a Family Advent Book that was published in 1989. So, our family has been “doing” advent almost every night for the past four weeks. It’s been such a great way to end the day – we read the advent portion of Scripture; talk about it; and then discuss what happened during our days. I have felt so behind the eight ball this Christmas – behind on shopping, wrapping, baking, mailing, etc. – but have been so heartened that we’re taking time almost every day to center around Jesus and celebrate Him – however simply. I’m really grateful.

  16. 166
    Tamara says:

    We have had several traditions with our children, one that I’ll never forget is putting powdered sugar on the bottom of my cowboy boots & leaving Santa’s footprints on the rug in our family room. My favorite memory is when our now 16 year old son came downstairs Christmas morning & said, “Mommy! Santa uses the same wrapping paper we do!” 🙂 But the one tradition that has stuck is, after baking cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, I put candles in them & we all sing “Happy Birthday to Jesus!”

  17. 167
    Beth says:

    I think we’re starting new traditions this Christmas…lots have happened this year, and currently youngest daughter and grandchildren are living with us…my sweet little mother who lived with me passed away in May….it’s been a rough year, especially because my mother is no longer here.

    One tradition I will share – my little mother always loved to decorate for Christmas – mother always had some type tablecloth on her dining room table and at Christmas time, she always had a lace tablecloth over a red cloth – during the year she’d have the under cloth to match the decor…light blue or yellow, sometimes white – and she would always have matching placemats…but at Christmas, she’d have all the colors of Christmas with some type of Christmas arrangement as the centerpiece. We loved her decorations and she took great pride in her efforts! Mother lived with me so we sold her home this past January and we siblings had to divide up everything and I got some of mother’s many tablecloths….I now have on my dining room table mother’s lace cloth with the red cloth underneath it…and I have a poinsettia sitting in the middle for its centerpiece…so this is my new tradition and I will always have it on my table at Christmas…and as I pass it each day, I reach out and touch the lace cloth and remember…(see it at

    Merry Christmas, Beth to you and your family!!


  18. 168
    Theresa says:

    My favorite christmas tradition are our table gifts. This was passed on to me by my husband and his family. Since our big Christmas meal is actually Christmas Eve I always have table gifts for anyone that is going to be eating with us. The past several years it has been only the four of us (intentionally). My boys are now 22 and 19 and I think I am holding on to every last minute with just them before our family starts to expand. The table gifts are always something very simple…..SOCKS! Now you would think that something so simple would be….well….simple, boring and maybe not necessary. You cannot imagine how excited we get. No matter who joins us everyone needs them and one size fits all. They are never boring and always necessary! It is these simple little gifts, simply wrapped that help me focus on the simply wrapped gift of Jesus Christ this Christmas Eve. Everyone always needs him and he is the ultimate “one size fits all”. May I always understand my need for him and may my heart always leaps in excitement at the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ this Christmas and every day! Christmas Blessings!

  19. 169
    Deirdre says:

    This year, we’re starting a new Christmas tradition. Today, (Christmas Eve), our family is volunteering at a local ministry in the heart of the inner city where we live. Afterwards, we’re going on a pray walk around the city. Then tomorrow morning, before the presents and all the hoopla, we’re going back to the same spot to do the same prayer walk. This time, we’re taking scarves and mittens, as well as Dunkin Donut gift certificates to give out to those living on the cold streets up here in New England. We can’t wait to see what God does… with us and in us!

  20. 170
    Karen says:

    My favorite tradition is putting the manger scene up under the tree with my children.

  21. 171
    Sandi says:

    Merry Christmas All!
    We will celebrate Christmas Eve with friends and family tonight during our 16th annual Feliz Navidad. I started this tradition when my children went to celebrate Chrstmas with their dad, and I was home alone. I filled my house with others who were “somewhat displaced”! Now, it is a holiday highlight. The Lord sends those that need to be here. We all bring our favorite spicy dishes and relax. What a great God we worship! He is close to the brokenhearted, and lifted this Soutern Gal to soar with wings as eagles!

  22. 172
    Deb K. says:

    Beth-I just had 4 hard laughs, maybe it was 5!!! You tickle my heart with laughter girlfriend. I had a bone spur in my shoulder sawed off 3 weeks ago and need some bone healing which is why the laughter was so appropriate. I forget where that verse is. Have a most beautiful, fun, peace and joy filled Christmas celebration!
    Oh, I want to share that I told my 3 children (26,29,30) that there dad and I want a gift of time this year and that they can be creative without tons of expense. I have never been so excited to open my gifts from them. The cool things is they seemed excited to figure it out.
    God Bless!

  23. 173
    Karen Sharman says:

    Merry Christmas to the Moore family! We’ve never met but I feel I know you through all the great pictures and stories. These small words carry so much love for all of you as you seek to serve and honor the Lord through your lives and I get to be a very blessed partaker. I have done all the studies at least twice. Shared with friends and relatives. Your commitment to Jesus touches my heart every day. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. May God bring you tidings of great joy over and over. In Him

  24. 174
    Debbie says:

    As people come and go in our lives, traditions change. I miss my mother terribly this Christmas. As the children grow and go there separate ways, traditions change again. I’m starting a new tradition by traveling away from home this Christmas. We are going to Florida, where hopefully its warmer, as they are calling for snow here in Virginia. We always go see a Christmas movie–this year its “Narnia” and I love to watch “The Nativity Story” at home before going to church services. The Light of the World is still here! Changing lives and loving His people.

  25. 175
    Jessica Griggs Brown says:

    Back in 1989, “Santa” delivered a Christmas angel to our family gathering. He gave it to my Ma with special instructions that each year that we gathered the family had to play a game in order to get the angel back in the family and a new family member would “win” the angel for that year. The angel has to hang in your house for the year in a place that everyone who visits can see her and at the next family gathering you have tell the family how the angel has blessed your home during the year. Since my Ma passed away in 2005, it is almost as if she is watching over us. The angel hung in my home in 2010–which was my newlywed year. And I can not describe how the angel has blessed our home…my husband has been blessed with a new career, we have been blessed with more time with his son, and we have a new addition coming to our family in May! Plus much, much more. I was more aware of the Lord’s blessings this year than ever before. My family met last weekend and the angel will now bless my Aunt Laura’s home for 2011. But I know in my heart that the angel blesses all my family everyday because “as for me and my house, we serve the Lord.” Merry Christmas to the Moore family!

  26. 176
    Bridgett Junkin says:

    Our family exchanges gifts on Christmas Eve at my parent’s home. First, we celebrate my niece-in-law’s birthday(31 today) and this year we will add another niece-in-law-to-be (24 on the 21st). Then we eat our traditional spaghetti dinner with apple pie for dessert. My mother makes the best of both. Daddy then reads the Christmas story from Luke. There are 18 of us ranging in age from 1 to 83. I’m the only unmarried one but I claim all 11 nieces, nephews, greats and in-laws as my own.

  27. 177
    Marie Hahnke says:

    Love the Pinks ~ what would we gals do without cute fuzzies for our feet?
    My favorite Christmas tradition: Every year we choose a family and anonymously leave a gift a day for 12 days on their doorstep — as sneaky as possible. All of our gifts come with a scripture pointing to our Savior… candy canes – by His stripes we are healed, candles – light of the world, popcorn – the lame will walk, candy treats – taste and see…, roses – Rose of Sharon. On Christmas Eve we “reveal” our identity and then beg them not to ever tell so next year we won’t get found out! So far, so stealth… yea!
    Merry Christmas ~

  28. 178
    Anastasia says:

    Dear Beth,
    I am still giggling from an annual Cadence International Christmas party yesterday! The gift exchange was nothing short of a riot. It is the one time of year we as Christians are alowed to “steal.” Oh the cconspiring and coniving that goes on is something to write a book about. We were on the floor doubled over from laughing! The best gift was a Super Man costume. I was given a Spiral Ham, so I told the costume receipient that he could be Super Man and I would be Spiral Ham (sing it to the tune of “Spider Man”)! I don’t have a Christmas Tradition in my bone, but I think I am growing new bones!
    Have a Merry Merry Christmas! I can still remember the Christmas in 2000 when I started Breaking Free and will never be the same!
    Living the Exodus in the Beloved,

  29. 179
    Barbi says:

    Christmas has changed a lot for us over the last few years since my mother-in-law remarried and my son got married. We have been working on creating new traditions, but we have held on to one of my favorite traditions. As a child, my parents (who did not attend church regularly) would take the whole family to the Christmas Eve service at church. As an adult, I have continued to attend Christmas Eve service every year and afterward, my husband drives us around to look at the Christmas lights. It refocuses us on what Christmas is really about.

    Merry Christmas Beth to you and your family!

  30. 180
    Mary says:

    When we were kids my parents always let us open one present on Christmas eve and it was pajamas. I have carried on that tradition with my own kids. We now read the Christmas story from the bible on Christmas morning before the kids can open anything. We also back a cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus. A friend started a new tradition for us a couple years ago. She made a manger out of construction paper and gave us yarn to use as hay. It is our “nice” manger.The kids have to do something nice to put a strand of “straw” in the manger. So they try to fill it up by Christmas. It helps a little with the Christmas attitudes!

  31. 181
    Gwen says:

    A fresh cut tree, lights adorning the house, finding and singing old and new Christmas songs on you tube, church services and parties, cruising through lots of developments and looking at all the lights and decor, Christmas story reading, worship and prayer before opening presents.

    I also have my kids prepare cookies for Santa and a piece of cheese for Santa mouse because I used to be a country gal! The city folks look at my kids a little cross eyed when the tell them about the cheese! ( ;

  32. 182
    Dawn Michelle says:

    We have so many traditions at our house – Christmas sugar cookies where we eat more dough than cookie, singing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas morning, trips downtown to hand out gloves and mittens to those on the street – but one of my favorites is what your blog just did for me, Beth, We LAUGH. Something about this season just makes us all take things a little more lightly, joyfully if you will. Somehow the Birth of the Christ Child just infuses all of us, even the Scrooge in the bunch, with a HOPE and a JOY that transcends health issues, circumstances, and our flesh. Thank you for reminding me, Beth, that our laughter,from table to tree, is a gift of joy from Jesus!!!

  33. 183
    Barbara says:

    Our Christmas Eve tradition includes a special meal of fried fish, potatoes, peas & carrots, stewed prunes, and money beans! (lentils). As kids we loved the money beans because as long as you ate some, when you were done you lifted up your plate and there was a quarter! (or now we use a silver dollar). Oh, and the table is lit with candles. Then tea and homemade apple strudel followed by a walk around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights. Oh, how I love this tradition!

  34. 184
    annette says:

    We have so many traditions–making gingerbread houses, decorating cookies, puzzles out the whole week, playing Christmas carols on the piano. My favorite is going to midnight candlelight service at the church where none of us go any longer. Still, it is the most beautiful and silent night of worship in my heart I’ve ever experienced. The miracle is that we all go-none of us are Episcopalian any longer, most of us don’t go to church at all, one is a Budhist,one is a Jew, and yet, we sit in the same pew and wonder at the God-Child’s birth. The thing is, I know it doesn’t mean as much to anyone but me, so I take it most personally as my Gift from Him. After all, it is both of our biggest longings.

    Merry Christmas, Beth. I love your hope-filled heart for Him. He has blessed us both immeasurably beyond our greatest imaginings. Thanking Him for you as I type.

  35. 185
    Amanda Billings says:

    Oh my goodness!!! I had the same stocking that Melissa had as a child!!!! My mom made them for me and my brother. His was different than mine. How crazy is that!!

    Got my spiral! Can’t wait!

  36. 186
    Millie says:

    Dear Beth,

    It’s fun to see a Texas Christmas with all the ladies sitting OUTSIDE enjoying a meal. Here in the mountains of NC it is freezing cold and we are expecting a Christmas snow.

    My husband and I have a tradition of walking the streets of Blowing Rock, NC each Christmas Eve and looking for an ornament for our tree. Then we stop at Kilwin’s and get some hot chocolate…THE BEST!! We have to go early because the town “rolls up” at about 1:00 pm and hunkers down for Christmas.

    Our family is experiencing our first Christmas without the patriarch of the family, my dad. Our hearts are hurting but rejoicing for him. What he must be seeing this first Christmas in heaven! Please pray for my mom who is hurting so much. She and dad had an amazing love…for 60 years..the kind they write books about. We are all holding her close.

    Blessings to you and yours. So glad you are all together this Christmas! We are sending our love and thankful prayers for you and the ministry from Boone, NC.



  37. 187
    Andrea S. says:

    Thank you for the glimpse of Christmas with the Moore’s. These are the posts I love the best! It’s always so funny because my husband is always saying…it’s not like you REALLY know her…um…excuse me!?!?! Yes, I do!!! It was really cute the other day we were watching the Outdoor Channel before church and there was Keith Moore, and my 10 year old son goes…Mom, is Beth’s husbands name Keith!?! Jason was beside himself with laughter, because my kids “know” you too! 🙂
    Okay…that was a bit of a tangent! Our favorite Christmas tradition at our house is Orange and Cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning…after presents of course! We are clinging to our traditions this year…we feel like we are simply going through the motions. We lost my dear dear father-in-law this past September and nothing could have prepared me for the heartache and lonesomeness we feel for him this Christmas. This year I am thankful for the birth of Jesus for the simple reason that I will see our beloved Ted again…and this year…that’s enough!

    I love you girls so much! God’s blessings to you and a very very Merry Christmas!

    In Him,

  38. 188
    Kari says:

    We have so many traditions I really do not know what my favorite is….was just sharing with my husband last night I am so thankful that years ago we decided to do 3 gifts only for Christmas for each of the kids. My daughter was looking at the letters to santa in the paper last night and she said, “Wow – some kids are really greedy” as their list went on and on. I admit at times it is a challenge for this mother that wants to give them so much more but I believe it has done the thing I wanted to accomplish and that is for Christmas to not be all about “getting things and what I want”. One other tradition we will be doing today is having b-day cake for Jesus (it has to be a frosted angel food cake with sprinkles in it and on it) before we open our family gifts.

    Happy “Holy Days!”

  39. 189
    NurseRae says:

    On Christmas Eve my family sleeps in our living room in sleeping bags around the Christmas tree (kind of crowded with 9 people). We play games and watch a Christmas movie (and laugh our heads off, of course) until we are too tired to think coherently.
    Christmas day we wake up (it gets later each year–thank goodness!) and first grab coffee. Stockings are opened first and then gifts are passed out. We start with my youngest sister and go around letting each person open one gift at a time (we drag out the gift opening process–yay!). Lastly, my parents pass out their gifts to us and we open them.
    Then we all make a giant Christmas breakfast and hang out in our pjs until it is time to go to my Dad’s family for dinner.

    Merry Christmas to all in Siestaville!

  40. 190
    Cindy metcalf says:

    You are a blessing Beth:)

  41. 191
    Judy in Oswego says:

    For the past 35 years we have all been gathering at my youngest brother’s house on Christmas eve to celebrate together as a family. After a couple of years we started expanding it from being just family to including friends, neighbors and co-workers that we knew would alone for Christmas for one reason or another. Now, all these years later, these still join us and have invited their loved one to join us. It can get pretty crowded at times! This year, though we are without two very special people. One is my nephew who moved to TX in the spring and is unable to get home, but the one we will be missing the most is my much loved mother who went home to Jesus on October 16th of this year. So our gathering tonight will be somewhat bitter sweet, but knowing that mom will be celebrating Jesus’s birthday with Him tonight comforts me.

    Merry Christmas to my Seista Mama, all her peeps, and my Seista sisters as well. May God richly bless you in all that you do today.


  42. 192
    jules says:

    Did you make the delightful cookies? They are so pretty. Nice match for the pretty dishes.

    My immediate family lives out of state from both of our extended families, so we are just the 4 of us for Christmas. Years ago, we started going out to eat Christmas eve for dinner (Outback Steakhouse) before the 7PM Christmas eve service at church. At the time, my 2 boys were young enough to still believe in Santa…not that I promoted that idea. So after church, because Santa had so many houses to visit he would have already been to our house. We opened presents on Christmas Eve and my husband and I got to sleep in on Christmas morning.

    My children our now teens (one will be leaving for college next year) and I suggested we try Lucky’s Steakhouse this year. My younger son about had a baby, “MOM, no, it a tradition.” So I suggested the tradition could be going out to eat at a steakhouse before church (I REALLY like Lucky’s warm bread). Again,
    MOOOOM, NO, its a tradition to eat at Outback.” So….Outback it is. We still open gifts after church, and sleep in on Christmas morning.

    Funny story: I occassionally babysit 2 little girls that have had a rather challenging life. There mom, just a week ago, decided to divorce their stepdad. This is the only dad one of them has ever known. Sad. Anyway, neither has been to church very much (we take them as much as we can). Yesterday, they were eating dinner at our house and we said our prayer before we began eating. Afterward the little 4 year old asks, “Who’s Jesus….oh yea, I remember him….he’s God.” She said it so matter of factly, it was so cute (and funny). Just had to share:)

  43. 193
    Susan Church says:

    We live a 30 minute drive from our church. When our boys were young, the 5:30 Christmas Eve Service meant that eating prior was too early, and a full meal after was too much. So I began our Christmas Eve Picnic tradition! I fix finger foods (bbq smokies, deli meat and cheese, various crackers, carrots, celery with peanut butter, sliced apples, etc.) and white grape juice with gingerale. Then we spread a blanket (plastic tablecloth when they were young!) on the floor in front of the tree, turn off all but Christmas lights, put on the music, and proceed to have a “picnic”! At 18 and 21 now, they still look forward to our traditional picnic. Creating great memories!

  44. 194
    Becky says:

    In our family growing up, we were NEVER allowed to open a gift before Christmas Day. Once I became a mother, I decided to break tradition and allow my son to open one, and only one, gift on Christmas Eve. But there was a catch-it could only be a gift of pj’s. On his 8th Christmas or so, he received a pair of Scooby Doo pj’s that were at least two sizes too small! Oops! I cried because I had gotten the wrong size, he cried because he thought he was too old for Scooby Doo, I cried because he hated them, he cried because I wanted him to put them on and wear them anyway! My husband just wanted to disappear, I’m sure. It was a BAD scene, but somehow, the tradition has continued. He is almost 13 now, and he will be looking for those pj’s tonight. And he will expect them to be weird. Now, I just hope those Pac-Man pj’s are the right size!!!!

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  45. 195
    Meredith Sloan says:

    Our favorite Christmas Tradition around our house w/ my two daughters (12 & 10) is baking goodies! Although it doesn’t always turn out in real life as it does in my mind (for instance: when I over microwave the white chocolate for dipping long pretzels sticks and it turns into one big hard glop and screaming “This is why I don’t do this!!”) My husband comes to the rescue and it all turns out well. Which by the way, we too are a miracle family. I cry when I read your testimonies because it hits home with me. I thank the good Lord above for keeping my family together. By the grace of God, I pray we will make it to our children’s adult years and have many many more memories with my sweet family. God is so good! Thank you for sharing your life and memories with us. I love you dearly! Oh and I bought 3 spirals…I wanted my daughters to have one too! Can hardly wait to start the memory verses with you again! Merry Christmas!

  46. 196
    Kathy C. says:

    I love attending a Christmas Eve service, and enjoying it with a church full of people who have taken a break from all the shopping, baking, wrapping, going here and there and all the hustle and bustle to come together to celebrate Christmas together at church. I love the candles and carols and the spirit of the season that fills the room, Christmas always seems most real to me in those moments. Looking forward to one later today!

  47. 197
    Fenton says:

    Good morning all! Our family also drives around and looks at Christmas lights! I love all the pretty colors! I am looking forward to a year of Scripture memory with everyone and I think the Lord has shown me the first verse to memorize! January 1st is still a ways off, though. Merry Christmas all!
    p.s. When I sit at the computer and laugh, my son has figured out that I must be reading your blog! I do so appreciate your humor and look forward to Moore news!

  48. 198
    Bev W. says:

    I read Max Lucado’s Cosmic Christmas or An Angle Story
    is a link to this short fictional story. I don’t know if it is the entire story or just an excerpt. I love behind the scene stories, so if I’m going to read a fictional story about the night before Christmas I would rather read this.

  49. 199
    Marilyn says:

    My absolute favorite tradition is our Christmas Eve service at our church which starts at 11pm. At the very end, we sing Silent Night and everyone lights a candle off of the one next to you. They turn the church lights off as we sing and hold the candles up. I cry tears of joy every year! I look forward to this service every year, not the presents, but the celebration of Christ’s birth.

  50. 200
    Gabbt says:

    Beth, that is so sweet! My favorite tradition is on Christmas Eve at my in-laws. Before we open a gift we read the Christmas story from Luke and each of the 9 grandchildren (mine being the youngest) act it out with a huge cardboard box as the backdrop. There are 6 girls in the troop, so they all dress up in old ballet performance costumes as angels and such,the boys are kings and shepherds (sometimes a donkey!) and every year they all get bigger and my heart just aches for when my little girl used to keep robbing Jesus from the cradle and carrying him around during the play.
    Enjoy your coffee and your girls. Life is so precious!

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