Christmas has arrived! :: Sprague Traditions


We're just 9 days shy from Jesus' Birthday party and we're getting pretty excited! Ben's parents come on Sunday night, and we're finalizing all the details!

I love getting set up for Christmas. We've been set up for a few weeks, and here's a few blips of our Christmas decor. While it isn't much (and what's shown isn't all of it,) it's kind of nice to have a minimalist Christmas. I think it's pretty consistent with it's origin.

The Spragues have pretty common traditions when it comes to Christmas. A few of ours include pj's on Christmas eve, a birthday cake/desert for Jesus (candles included), and limiting our presents within the family to three gifts (want, need, surprise.) The gift idea is from the three wise men (while we all know that there's no real proof there were only three, it's a good cap regardless) and the gifts they brought to Jesus. We like the three gift limit since I think it helps my heart fight off consumerism, and when Eowyn gets older, she'll grow to be content with less. Plus it takes the pressure off to get ALL THE THINGS. While we don't limit what others get her (Grandparents get to do what they want) it's nice when it comes down to the three (soon to be four!) of us.

While having Eowyn last year was especially sweet with it being her first Christmas and all, I'm super excited for this year. I'm excited to see her open gifts, and help blow out Jesus' Birthday candles (we don't put the proper number of candles on the cake...because then all the oxygen would be gone out of the room.)

I think the best part for all of us will be having family to share it with. Eowyn keeps asking when Grandma and Grandpa will be here, so we're now counting down 'sleeps' till they arrive.

There's a lot of talk of Finland's "Christmas Peace" around here. In other words, literally everything is shut down and quiet for Christmas. Things start closing up even before Christmas Eve, so it'll be a good practice in resting and enjoying the day. I'll just be sure to buy a fair amount of milk so we don't run out.

In addition to the classic setting up the tree and the like, it's been fun to reach an age with Eowyn when she can do fun crafts and decorate cookies. We had a cooking baking day with a few friends and one of the gals was kind enough to let Eowyn even use the mixer when making cookies. Eowyn instantly had a favorite person. We had to leave the baking day early for naptime, and the gals were kind enough to leave us with supplies to decorate our own little gingerbread man for afterwards.

Eowyn mostly enjoyed eating the sprinkles.

Side story: The cookie baking day landed on the day before I got to take a gestational diabetes test. I thus, got to limit eating any sugars before finding out results. Here in Finland, if you pass the test with your first pregnancy, you don't have to take it again with any subsequent pregnancies. This is especially nice because they skip the one hour test and go straight to the long test. I think American babies are bigger, because while I'm measuring right in line with my weeks according to the stateside standards, Finnish women are apparently always under weeks for fundal height. So, I had an ultrasound to make sure baby was looking fine. Baby boy looked bigger than what they're used to (Thanks to Ben and his jumbo size.) Which in turn meant we got to go to the lab for the long test bright and early in the morning (bleh.) Eowyn was a champ for those several hours and as suspected, I don't have GD (Praise Jesus.) So those cookies no longer need to stare me down every day. :P Of course, I'm not going to be stuffing my face. The reality is I do get to dictate a bit on how big he'll be based on what I eat, and he's predicted at 40 weeks to be around 10 we have an early birth or send me your birth stories how you awesomely pushed out a jumbo baby. :) Shout out to Ben though, he was ready to swear off treats until I could enjoy them with him. Talk about an A-class husband.

Eowyn, of course, was perfectly content with handling the cookie situation herself.

Back to Christmas Traditions. For the first year ever, we started an advent activity of reading the storybook bible (there's even print offs if you want to hang up pictures!) with Eowyn before bedtime. While this mostly looks like Ben and I sitting and reading together with Eowyn running over sporadically to look at the pictures, it's become a special tradition. Ben and I often tear up over the stories. The writers of the Jesus Story Book Bible did an awesome job with it. Essentially, every story ties in with the eventual coming of Christ. So, reading it in preparation for Christmas has been especially sweet.

Something about this year seems less rushed, and more beautiful. Maybe it's being hit with colds and having to take it easy in the weeks leading up, and maybe it's the grace we've had at sending out mail late (family, you'll get newsletters a week or so after Christmas. ) Regardless, it's left time to actually think about Jesus coming. Being pregnant with my own little guy makes advent-the season of waiting- seem to have even more meaning. While I'm birthing no savior, the anticipation of his arrival gives me a glimpse to what Mary might have felt waiting.

All that to say, I'm excited for the party.

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