Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to teach your kids the real meaning of Christmas - The Dolls Party. 31 days of Christmas Wonder (day 31)

Phew. We have made it to 31 days. (finally)

Do you know the Biblical accout of Jesus turning the water into wine? The guests, not knowing what had happened, were so shocked and pleased that the host had saved the best wine for last.

Well, I have saved my favorite idea for last. Did the title get you a little curious? This idea is a little weird, but we loved this tradition.

Let me give you a little background. I have a large family and holidays were getting a little complicated trying to fit in the Johnson family Christmas, personal family Christmas and in.laws etc. So our extended family made some changes.

On Christmas Day, everyone stayed home. That gave you Christmas Eve to be with in.laws. And the big traditional Johnson family Christmas . . . we did on January 1. Everyone had it off. We just got up that morning and acted like it was another Christmas morning. (brilliant, eh?) And we did not have to cross the nasty pass, the same day the rest of Seattle was.

My husband's family was far away . . . so we were always just the four of us for Christmas. I wanted each part to still be special. This is how our Doll's Birthday Party for Jesus began.

We read a lot of Tasha Tudor. Becky's Christmas is one of our all time favorite books. Sadly, it is not in print and we do not own a copy. We read a library copy every year. Tasha was a very creative mom and created a magical time for her kids each year. She had a dolls and animals party with her kids and neighbors every year.

The Doll's Christmas tells about it and it is in print. So we adapted her idea to work for us. (but no animals allowed)

On Christmas Eve afternoon. The girls and I threw a little birthday party for Jesus and invited their American Girl dolls.  Their dolls are very generous and always brought a present for the girls. And the girls spent hours making a present for their dolls. (One year they created a magazine for them.)

Since Christmas is a busy time in our kitchen (No family around, so I cooked all the food), we ordered a simple small round, single layer cake from our bakery. Of course, it said HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS.

It was a simple event, we had cake, talked about the day of Jesus' birth, and the girls exchanged gifts with their dolls.

We. had. a. lovely. time.


  1. Too similar to our home..Christmas day is just for us...all extended family visits are on other days, and now that one is married we meet with them on another day other than Christmas. This is the only day of the year that we don't let the world interrupt and enjoy just with our family.

    We haven't done all of this, but we have done a birthday cake for Jesus with all them when they were small.

    Great and fun post.

  2. That sounds so nice. Our Christmas, particularly this year, is just too much. My family will be here (which will be GREAT!), but on Christmas Day we have to leave everyone to drive two hours to be with my husband's family. It's just a difficult situation and, honestly, takes all the joy out of the day for me. It would be nice to just have a quiet day like you describe.

  3. I love your intentionality and the routines and traditions you create. And love you!!

  4. We usually celebrate with my family on Christmas Eve (we usually host), spend Christmas morning at home, and head over to Yakima starting around noon. This has been crazy-busy for me most years, but with significantly cutting down the gift exchange, is a nice way for us to do it. I love getting to see snow on Christmas, my hubby is a great snow driver, and we bring favorite Christmas CD's to play while we drive. : )

  5. I'm sad there were no pictures from said parties in this post. But it was a good one anyway :)

  6. We started doing that the last few years. Celebrating on Jan 1
    Last year we changed it up and all had a sleepover at my moms
    And got up. Made breakfast and then each went to our own homes
    To celebrate with our own families. It was a fun memory!
    I love your tradition too. Now you can take a small breather:)

  7. I've always loved Tasha Tudor and her books...lovely way to end your 31 days of how to celebrate're such a genius!

  8. That is a lovely way to celebrate. This will be our first Christmas without Mama. We'll be at my sister's new place in Oklahoma. Maybe we'll start some new traditions for how we celebrate Jesus' birth.

  9. What a wonderful idea! Christmas really changes as the kids get older. Mine are not married yet but one may not be able to be here for Christmas as he has to work so we may have to do our celebrations on a later day as well. It can be just as special, hey?

  10. Precious, precious memories, Glenda.

  11. I just realized I wasn't following you...yikes, fixed that problem!


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