The List

My kids are so excited we only have three days until Christmas, especially Andrew. Last night he asked me to snuggle with him in his bed because he needed to talk to me about something. It was really late (past midnight because we had friends over for dinner and games) but I couldn’t resist. What 10-year-old boy wants to talk to his mother about something?

I climbed up the ladder to his bunk bed, sunk into his pillow and waited while he brushed his teeth. Soon after, he crawled in beside me and I gently scratched his back. Normally he doesn’t want to talk but simply wants me to lull him to sleep. However, last night he jumped right into our very important discussion about something.

“Mom, what all are we doing to do Christmas morning before we open our gifts?”

I should’ve known. I’m so gullible. Here I thought he had some deep thoughts about life to discuss with me. He is my philosophical child, but he’s also “Mr.What to Expect.” He wants to know the plan so he can rehearse it in his mind, anticipating each step that leads to the grand finale of any day. Here’s what I told him:

Christmas Morning List

1. Wake up early with daddy. Lay on the couch looking at Christmas lights while mommy sleeps late (this is their favorite tradition and mine, too!)

2. Gather in the dining room for Christmas Breakfast with Jesus as our guest (We set a place for Him at the head of our table with a “You Are Special” plate.

3. Open up our gift-wrapped baby Jesus’ figures and place them in the mangers

4. Light the center Advent candle and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus

5. Light the little candles that are clipped to each of our plates and tell Jesus what we want to give Him from our hearts this year

6. Eat Christmas Breakfast and…

7. Open the gifts under our tree!

He liked the plan and within minutes he fell asleep.

Today, my mom came by for lunch. While were were eating, Andrew announced that we have 6 things we’re going to do before opening gifts Christmas morning. I smiled and listened as he continued, “And it’s going to be a great day because everyone is going to be here – even Jesus!”

Now that’s Christmas: counting down the days, anticipating each event, and checking off the special Guests on our list.

I think I’ll take Andrew’s approach and make a list for today so I can anticipate tonight’s grand finale – making slice & bake Christmas cookies and watching the Nativity with my guys!

Today’s List

1. Write our Christmas letter (and post on our HeBrews Faith Family Blog )

2. Print Christmas letter and address envelopes

3. Buy Blockbuster gift cards for Movie Night baskets for neighbors/friends

4. Rent Nativity movie (wasn’t available but I tried)

4b. Reserve Nativity movie for Christmas Eve

5. Stop by grocery store

6. Help JJ with year-end finances if he needs me

7. Take a shower (yes, it’s almost 4pm and I haven’t done that yet)

8. Love the one’s I’m with (can’t ever scratch that one off)

So, what special plans do you have for Christmas? I know you probably have plenty to do today, but maybe sharing your plans will get you as excited as Andrew! Also, if you leave a comment, you’ll be part of this weekend’s Christmas Give-Away:

  • A Starbucks gift card &
  • Living and Leaving a Legacy 2-part DVD

To join in the fun, click on the word “comments” and leave a little note. Be sure to include your name and email so I can contact you if you win. Merry Christmas!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Hi Renee,

    My inlaws have arrived. We are waiting for a cousin to arrive next. Tonight we will have a nice dinner. On Christmas eve, my mom and siblings will come over for a special dinner. My husband will be working (firefighter) and will come home Christmas morning. We will open gifts, then he will go to bed, and then I will take my daughter to a movie. Then hopefully I can put my house back in order 😉

  2. Hi Renee,

    I chuckled at your sons question. My oldest daughter (12) is the same way. Every night I hear “so mom, what’s the plan for tomorrow?” She loves to know the plan for the next day!

    We also place baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning. Though we haven’t had a manger for a few years (my goal is to get the Willow Tree manger set)but growing up we always did that and continued the tradition with our daughters.

    I have enjoyed visiting your site and will be back often

  3. MCH Boys Ranch, Inc. says:

    Our family has to find baby Jesus somewhere in the house, the clue, the stable was kind of like a cave… Even though our children our grown and out of the house we still find baby Jesus, this year our 1 1/2 year old grandson, might get in on trying to find Him. Then we read the Christmas story and eat Fried potatos and cinnamon and orange rolls while opening presents. We started a new tradition with the boys we work with and I posted about it over at our blog. Have a Merry Christmas!

  4. I’ve got a couple of planners myself. The requests to tell them what we’re going to do come frequently during this time of year.

    Free Starbucks? Surely you jest.

    Genni

  5. My husband ,myself and our daughter get up early on Christmas morning and wait for my father-in-law to arrive from the other side of town. We then have breakfast, read from Luke in the bible and open presents. Also since my daughter has been 5 years old her and I sleep under the Christmas tree on Christmas night and read The Princess and the Kiss.

    Merry Christmas,
    Tammy

  6. Dear Renee:

    Your comments really touched my heart. My husband and I are 3,000 miles away from family. Some times, it’s difficult to not stay in the moment with him instead I find myself wandering to what time it is at their house and what they must all be doing right now.

    Thank you for reminding me to remember the reason for the season and how important it is to remain in the moment.

  7. Every year our children want to make sure that ‘tradition’ happens as they know it. First, there is all of them sleeping together, sharing the excitement and at 7am waking mom and dad up. Next, comes opening the stockings. That is always followed by the Christmas story and the conclusion of the advent story we read each year.

    Then comes gifts. One of the greatest joys we share as parents is our children’s delight in giving their gifts out! I hope it lasts forever!

    Merry Christmas

  8. Digging for Pearls says:

    We actually will spend a quiet day together – just the four of us for Christmas this year. Tomorrow – Christmas eve is our busy day. Two Christmas services – the boys sing in the first one and all four of us are in the Christmas cantata for the 11PM service, in fact three of us have solos. Boy am I nervous! It’s my first one! 🙂

  9. My husband ,myself and our daughter get up early on Christmas morning and wait for my father-in-law to arrive from the other side of town. We then have breakfast, read from Luke in the bible and open presents. Also since my daughter has been 5 years old her and I sleep under the Christmas tree on Christmas night and read The Princess and the Kiss.

    Merry Christmas,
    Tammy

  10. lytlere@gpcom.net says:

    Hi Renee,
    Right now we are waiting for my brother-in-law and his wife to arrive. Tomorrow we will have dinner with all of my husband’s family. Just one of our daughters will be there and then just the two of us for Christmas itself. I don’t feel bad about that because then I can focus on the real meaning of Christmas.
    Have a Merry stress free Christmas.
    Josie

  11. GrammaGrits says:

    Love your family’s focus on Jesus for Christmas. You have a great tradition for them to carry on someday. God bless your family – Merry Christmas!

  12. Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog says:

    Aww-that is so sweet. I always enjoys those times with the kids even if they are not what I am expecting. They are just special. Something to cherish in our hearts as moms.

    Love the list. I think I am going to adopt the giving Jesus something part. We do the birthday cake and singing and all but I think that would be perfect to add.

    Hope it is a Merry Christmas for you all.
    Much love,
    Angela

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