Monday, 3 December 2007

Our Christmas Tree Raising Ceremony

Let me tell you about the Christmas tree raising ceremony at our red house. My husband and I started this tradition to make Christmas more meaningful for ourselves and our family.

We begin by reading Luke Chapter 2, 1-20 as a family. This passage tells of the census that brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, and the appearance of the angels to the shepherds. We read how the shepherds go to Bethlehem to see Jesus and are amazed, and how they spread the word about him.

We then read Matthew 2: 1-12, which describes the Magi who come from the east, following a star, and their meeting with King Herod. They go to Bethlehem bearing gold, myrrh and frankincense to worship Jesus.

The children love to discuss these beautiful passages, and then we pray for our family and others this Christmas season.

Afterwards, I give the children their new decorations for their Christmas boxes. This year, for the first time, I made the children's decorations.

We then get out the other Christmas decorations and the children put up the tree and decorate the house. They enjoy doing this and rarely fight over it; it is a pleasure to sit back and watch them.

Some of my favourite decorations were made many years ago by Mrs Mabs Farman, who was one of my grandmother's dearest friends. Mrs Farman sewed and sequined many, many felt decorations, some of which she sold, and others she gave to family and friends. I think every member of my extended family has some of these decorations, many of which are 40 or 50 years old.

She made the duck at the top of this post, and this elephant,
this teddy bear,

and this large Santa Clause, for collecting Santa's mail.

I made this heart for my daughter's Christmas box. The idea is not original; I copied it shamelessly from Sunshine's Creations.

I love home-made decorations, and vastly prefer them to made-in-China, mass-produced ones. Their imperfection is part of their charm.

I do wonder what the Chinese working in poor conditions in factories think of Christmas and the things they make for the Western nations.

Here is the angel at the top of our tree. She was made by my eldest son many years ago at kindergarten and has graced our tree ever since.

Bridget at O Night Divine has written a beautiful post about keeping Christmas simple. You can read it here.


Kimmie said...


Love your handiwork, wish I could come over so you could show me how. Love that you are so homey!

great memories and those boxes will be brimming full in no time!

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Rosie's Whimsy said...

What a wonderful tradition. I'm sure your tree looks fabulous and means more than any amount of money can buy. Have a Wonderful Christmas Season....Rosie

Rosy Inspiration said...

You've got a good family tradition, putting the focus on Jesus' story where it all began and what Christmas is about in the first place. I also read Bridget's post, it's brilliant, I'm amazed how you managed to find these blogs.Thanks for sharing.

Nunnie's Attic said...

Your homemade ornaments are beautiful. You should be so proud of what you share with your children. A very inspiring post!

And thank you for directing me O Night Divine!!


red tin heart said...

I love the elephant!! xoxo Nita

Sharon said...

What pretty decorations!

:0) Sharon

Megs said...

hello lovely Kate!
Mabs' creations are delightful, as are yours!
happy Christmas!
part of our christmas celebrations include going out to a christmas tree farm (where they serve spiced cider and shortbread!) and picking a tree. it's been snowing so much we haven't braved the slooshy roads to get our tree this weekend - the girls are sad about that, but loved playing in the snow!
love you,

River said...

I love those felt ornaments and I'm going to copy them for my own tree. I'm also inspired to try different designs, maybe bells, or little tiny houses, gingerbread men........

Tan said...

Some of the prettiest decorations Ive seen!

Jenny said...

I love the felt decorations.
I am afraid I am rather mean about the decorations the kids make. I like to have themes each year, and they just don't often fit in!!
Oh horrible mother!

Niki RuralWritings said...

homemade ornaments full of memories are the best, when we put up our tree I will post a picture or two of some of he ornaments the children made when they were young, lol. They're my favourites.

Stitchingranny said...

I love the decorations and I know what you mean. Some of mine date back to my childhood but though they may be old and tatty I wouldnt part with them.

julie said...

Hi Kate,

Thanks so much for stopping by my place and leaving your sweet commment.

I love home made ornaments and decorations. Our family tree is full of them.

What a great idea for each of your children to have their own special Chistmas box full of their own ornaments. I loved the idea of your Christmas raising, that is a fantastic tradition.


carrie said...


This my first visit to your blog. I found you via your comment on Niki's Christmas post. I could not believe it when I read that you use the same "gifting poem" for your holiday! I just posted about that today--it's a family tradition.

I look forward to visiting you again.

Donna said...

Oh what pretty little ornaments! I love homemade things too!

blessedmomof3 said...

Your homemade Christmas ornaments are so pretty! They definitely would add a special touch to your tree! I also think your family tradition is a lovely idea!

Thanks for having stopped by. I was absolutely thrilled when I saw that homemade sweetened condensed recipe you posted. I don't think I will ever buy a real can of it ever again. LOL! The recipe seems to work wonderfully.

P.S. - I had noticed you are in Australia. I'm up in Queensland. It's going to be a hot and humid Christmas here and I'm not looking forward to that.


Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Hello Kate!

I am in awe over these charming ornaments for your tree and love the story about the tradition for your family. This is so sweet and something that your children will remember for life, and hopefully carry on to their own children.

Your are such a great mother and your children are blessed to have you instill in them such rich and loving tradtion.

Becky and Doogs (PS: no, he didn't get any turkey treats as he is on a special diet...allergies...)

Our Red House said...

I am really touched by all these sweet and lovely comments.

Thank you so much!


Jane @ Kidzarama said...

I love those decorations, and they've worn so well for felt.

Note to self: must get organised (for once) and make some decorations this year.

Thanks for inspiring me :)

jeanne @ Inspiring Ideas said...

I love this! And your homemade ornaments are just like the ones my mother made for us as kids - a new one every year - and now for her grandkids. SO special!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I think that is a wonderful tradition and I love all your ornaments!
Thanks for sharing this post!