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December Daily : Day 3 (part one)

Simon


Today I pulled out the Playmobil Nativity Set
we picked up last year and set it out on a tray in the living room. I thought it would be a good way to welcome Simon home from school.


As I was sitting on the couch placing each of the wise men on the tray, I was remembering how much I loved coming home from school during December to see what my Mom had pulled out from the Christmas boxes. My favorites were always a nativity set and a brass candle set where the flames from the small candles enabled a top piece to spin around and around.


It was always so cool to walk through the door and see the house transformed into a twinkling celebration of the season.


I am hoping for those sorts of memories for Simon and this new little one. Tomorrow I will be bringing out all the holiday books that have been safely stored for the last year. I think there is some magic in only having them come out for a certain amount of time.


I am really going for simple and meaningful this year. As I was going through the boxes I pulled out only about half the decorations that I normally do; I am choosing the things that are most important and that I/we love the most. Twinkle lights, greenery, red berries, my childhood ornaments (last year I did a "matching" tree - all the ornaments were color-coordinated - and this year it is all my ornaments from when I was a kid), the nativity, and a couple other things I plan to photograph next week.


It's a good pace for me right now.


And of course, Simon played with that nativity set all afternoon.


Dottedline


Part two of Day Three, including images of my project, will be posted around noon today.


Dottedline_2


Celebrate the season. Read more about the concept of a December Daily Album and links to all related posts here. See many more examples from participants in the Flickr December Daily Group.

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42 thoughts

  1. Kimberly DiNapoli says…
    12/04/2008

    I wonder if it has to do with the state of the world today, but its funny because I only pulled out about half my decorations this year too!! I have boxes and boxes of Christmas stuff, so there is still plenty around my house but I am really focusing on my family this year. I think it is so much more important for them to have a mommy who is as excited as they they are than to have a decked out house with a stressed out and cranky mommy!!
    Thanks so much for inspiring me to do this project! I am taking it slowly but really thinking about the photos I take each day. I want this album to truly reflect our traditions.
    Can't wait to see part 2! :) Enjoy your day!!

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  2. sue says…
    12/04/2008

    What a lovely tradition - getting out some new decorations/books each day. I bet Simon can't wait to get home and see what new thing is out/up. Fun.
    Sue

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  3. Kimberly DiNapoli says…
    12/04/2008

    I just posted a comment but it seems to have disappeared, so I apologize if this is a re-post....but I just wanted to say you are not alone in the simplifying this year! I only pulled out about half my decorations this year too, and its still more than enough! I think its more important to enjoy the season with my kids than to have a decked out house and a cranky / stressed out Mommy!
    Thanks so much for inspiring me to do this album! I am slowly put surely plugging along with mine ... I really want it to be a book about our holiday traditions, so I am keeping that in mind as I take my photos. I love how its coming out so far!!
    :)

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  4. Pascale says…
    12/04/2008

    Your post today will certainly bring back many childhood memories... For me, it was a vision of this huge nativity that an elderly neighbour used to set up when I was a child... All French traditional clay "santons", shepherds, sheep, and even the three wise men and their camels in the distance. Hope you'll be enjoying this time to the full!

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  5. patty says…
    12/04/2008

    i love putting out my nativity set each year and remember being excited when my mom would put up ours! and the big excitement was when baby jesus goes in the manger!!!
    thanks for stirring up the good memories! heres to tradition!

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  6. jen davis says…
    12/04/2008

    We had that little gold thing that spun when the candles were lit too! I had totally forgotten about that and now am off to try and see if I can find it online for purchase. That was something so little, yet I too remember it being something so special when my mom or dad would light the candles. Really related to your post today Ali, thanks for being so real and somone to continue to look up to! =)
    Enjoy today!
    Jen

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  7. HeatherC says…
    12/04/2008

    Simple is best -- I think. We have the Little People Nativity and it is so cute to see my daughters play with it. There are 2 Christmas decorations I remember as a child -- the nativity with fake moss glued on the roof andthe Snowball candle that mom always put in the middle of the coffee table that glowed when lit. I wonder what decorations will stick with my children?

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  8. JulieP says…
    12/04/2008

    Oh my goodness!!! We had one of those spinning candle things too. I remember it sooooo well. Thanks for starting my day off with a wonderful memory of my childhood.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Sara Packard says…
    12/04/2008

    A hot cocoa toast to simplicity! A couple of months ago, that was my plan ... BUT ... I am in over my head as usual. Now that it is already said and done... I will enjoy every minute. Maybe next year!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Jingle says…
    12/04/2008

    My Great Grandmother had one of those brass candle spinners! It had angels that went around and around and I always wanted to play with it! Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful Christmas memory! You brought tears to my eyes!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Molly Irwin says…
    12/04/2008

    I couldn't agree more, Ali. I love this photo of simon and we, too are going for a simple holiday this year. I'm digging into boxes today - AFTER the kitchen gets cleaned. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Margarita says…
    12/04/2008

    I am doing the same thing. A lot less decorating and a lot more singing Christmas songs together!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Nicky Anderson says…
    12/04/2008

    I love this time of year and it truly is magic to see all the old favorites. Can't wait to get ours out after Brody's 7th birthday party on saturday.
    Busy time but love it.
    enjoy the day - can't wait to see the post.
    Just ordered all of pictures should have them friday for at least the 1st 3 days.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Caryl Hope says…
    12/04/2008

    It's funny how many people are going for simplicity this holidays. For me it's the fact that we are having our 1st live Christmas tree and I just don't want to drown it with ornaments. :-)
    Ali, I love the idea of the kids coming home and finding something "new" and Christmas-y everyday. We used to just put everything out over a weekend. I think the gradual transformation is less stressful & a great way to build up the anticipation for Christmas! Today I'll be putting out the nativity set. We missed this process last year due to the relocation and I'm so looking forward to getting the house in the holiday "mood"! :-)

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  15. Samantha says…
    12/04/2008

    I don't have many happy memories with my crazy grandmother, but one is the creches she put out every year. Several sets. To minimize fighting (!), she had one assigned to each grandchild. I have "mine" now that she passed on and, while my kids never quite got into it like I did, I still love to fondle the tiny, tiny plastic pieces. Mary is probably a 1/2" tall. Christmas is the one time of year I can gloss over my anger with Nana and focus on her gifts to me of creativity, song and tradition.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Christene says…
    12/04/2008

    We typically don't get our tree until a week or two before Christmas, but I am excited about going into the attic this weekend (or maybe even tonight!) and digging through all the decorations - a wonderful blend of older pieces and newer ones.
    Ali, I'm just curious, what is a matching tree?

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Elena says…
    12/04/2008

    I read your blog everyday (love it!), never write a comment but I got the same Nativity kit last Christmas for my 4 year old boy. I bought it here in Spain, and I can´t wait to take it out of the box this Saturday! Have a wonderful Christmas!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Sharon F, Oakland, CA says…
    12/04/2008

    Fantastic idea and tradition. Oh my goodness, I too remember that brass piece where the flame created movement ... had not thought of that until you mentioned it.
    Amazing how those feelings come flooding back with those memories.
    thanks for sharing...

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Holly S says…
    12/04/2008

    I need help...it's just me and my husband-dd is away at school. We are moving on Jan 2 so everything is packed away and my life is such a bore-I have nothing to put in my album-I mean nothing at all-no tree this year, no children at home to take pics of, no decorations...I really need some advise! I love my album so maybe I should hold it for next December and hope I have more to say?
    I know you say to keep it simple and not think too much about it but I have no thinking at all! I can't imagine 25 pages of the same thing...boringness! I was really excited putting it together but never stopped to think of what little I had to put into it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Ali says…
    12/04/2008

    Christine - the "matching tree" meant that all the ornaments were color-coordinated (gold and red) and I left my childhood ones in their case.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Aby says…
    12/04/2008

    We had one of those spinning candle sets, too! I went home over Thanksgiving and we watched slides of childhood photos. I saw a picture of that wonderful candle set. I wish somehow that had made its way into my home...would love to have it out on display.
    Thanks for the reminder that it's the simplest of things that make the holidays special.
    Aby

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  22. Ali says…
    12/04/2008

    Holly - what if you planned something simple each day to celebrate the season? It could be as simple as a stop at a coffee shop for a seasonal drink, a drive around the neighborhood to look at lights, making/buying gifts for your family, reading a holiday book, sitting by the fire listening to holiday music on the radio, donating time to a shelter or other agency that needs help, etc...so much of this season of the year is what you make of it. It does not have to be all decorations and such - it is the spirit and everyday life that I most want to document.

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  23. tara pollard pakosta says…
    12/04/2008

    i LOVe playmobile. too bad my husband threw to the curb two massive huge bins of it. i about died! he did that when we moved, not knowing what it was, along with all our legos.
    simple = peacefuL.
    we only put up a tree, the nutrackers and stockings on the mantle and that's about it.
    can't wait to see what you do for your next pages!tara

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Kirsten says…
    12/04/2008

    I remember that little brass candle chime! And we have that nativity set - my daughter always called it "Jesus Love" :)

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  25. claudia says…
    12/04/2008

    I does seem to be the year of less and getting back to the things that really matter. The real reason for the season - Jesus - instead of consumerism. I wish I still had some ornaments from when I was young, but this year I'm looking forward to hanging some of my boys' first ornaments and even making some clay or cinnamon ones with them.
    Thanks Ali for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I've been so blessed by your December Daily album idea too.

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