We've been attending a different church in Columbia for the past, well, six months or so. Our old church, while beautiful in architecture and full of lovely people, sort of stopped feeling like home to us. And while it cause both of us a lot of angst to look for a new church home (because our whole married Christian life is tied to our old church -where we were married and our three children baptized) we knew we needed to find a place where we were welcomed as we are, a place where we could build memories as a family.
One of the programs we participated in as a family was to adopt a child during the Christmas season - a child who is in need of prayers and thoughts as much as the toys, pajamas, and clothes we purchased for him. We involved the kids in most every step (except the shopping part - I know my limitations - and shopping with the Party Kids for toys might push me over the edge...) They helped wrap the gifts, asking a zillion questions about Cameron, the 5-year old little boy we adopted.
And on the second Sunday of Advent, we delivered our packages to the church - Anna and James hauling the bag all the way up to the front altar.
The only 'issue' we had was James (of course) who was extremely (loudly) disappointed that he didn't get to meet little Cameron on person - he didn't quite understand the idea - and wanted to see the 'little boy open his presents.'
Following church that day, we stopped at Forest Lake Gardens to pick out our tree - having learned the lesson that when it comes to live trees, it pays to purchase the tree from a place that keeps their trees in actual tree stands - you know, that hold water. Too many years we cheaped out and bought inexpensive trees at places where they were not watered daily - only to have them drop all their needles shortly after coming inside.
Of course, when we found the 'perfect' tree, we did realize that there was a big hole on one side of it with very sparse limbs. No matter, we thought, we'll put that side toward the corner. No big deal, right? Wrong. (See leaning tree post.) Turns out the weight of those missing limbs is important in balancing the tree - leading to our whole debacle.
Anna and James had fun running and running and running around the trees.... which is fun for a kid - not so much for the parents who are concerned about them running into the parking lot or overturning the other plants and bushes in pots around the garden...
But it was a fun morning - and thankfully the weather cooperated and it was acutally COLD. You'll never hear me complain about the cold weather we're having - and I loved every minute of bundling the kids up in winter coats to pick out our tree - just like I did as a kid in Washington State.