These are some old family photos of Norah and her dad in December of 2005. We had a little, one bedroom apartment back then, so you can see that Norah's crib was in the living room.

I love Advent. We started a few traditions after Norah was born and we have been adding to them over the years. I love celebrating Christmas all December long, getting every drop of joy of out the season.

We'll start reading The Advent Book every night before we put Norah to bed, now that it's December. This book is really a family treasure. It has the most beautiful illustrations. Norah opens a new door every night leading up to Christmas morning. Behind each door are verses taken almost directly from the book of Luke in the New Testament with beautiful paintings that show what is happening in the text. We'll read a little more of the Christmas story every night, memorizing it as we go. The way the book is timed, we read through the entire Christmas story and open the final door on Christmas morning... after we eat homemade cinnamon rolls, but before we open presents.

We also celebrate with Proclamation Ornaments every night. On one side of each ornament, there is a reference for an Old Testament prophecy about Christ and the other side shows the location of its fulfillment recorded in the New Testament. So, we end up reading a passage or two of Scripture every night and the final portion on Christmas morning, just after we finish our Advent book. Norah can't look up passages in the Bible or read them yet, but she has always taken joy in placing the ornaments on the tree.

Last year, we added another tradition to our mix. We read through The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as a family. We don't read aloud every night, since the book isn't that long, but we do it as often as we feel like it until we are finished with the entire story. It's hilarious and heartwarming. I am not exaggerating when I say I think it's one of the best books I've ever read.


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