The Willis Family

Christmas is not just one day on our calendar, because at the girl’s home it starts December 1! Our girls are big givers and love this season because they get to give to their friends, teachers, and family. We like to start the season with a game we call RACKed – Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. Each girl picks the people she wants to bless and what she wants to give. We bake goodies and buy small gifts to wrap and secretly give away, one for each day until Christmas!

When our own children were growing up, we used the “Jesse Tree” to tell the story of God’s love through the Old and New Testament. Each devotion has an ornament to symbolize the story. Our girls take turns reading and/or putting the ornaments on the tree for each day. This devotional goes through December, ending on Christmas Day, and they enjoy reading and putting up the ornaments!

Around the second week of December, we go together to choose a live Christmas tree. After getting the tree up, we pull out all the decorations and begin to decorate the tree and the house. Last year we bought gingerbread house kits for the girls, and they had a blast decorating their own house and displaying them! They also love baking, so anytime we can find a reason, we break out the cookbooks. As they have gotten older, their baking skills have gotten better and better. They also enjoy spending time with their relief house parents, exchanging gifts and having a fun-filled weekend.

As Christmas approaches, we enjoy driving around town to look at all the lights. Afterwards we like to stop at McDonald’s for ice cream or hot chocolate!

We have been given so much from the community that we try to give back by giving gifts to a family in our community that might not be able to buy presents for their own family. We also have a Christmas party with all our children and grandchildren – and our children love to surprise the girls with gifts! It is a beautiful time that brings us all closer as a family.

Christmas Eve is very special, because the girls get their PJs on and we pop popcorn and either watch a Christmas movie or read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Christmas morning is so much fun! Everyone runs out to check their stockings, then we read the Christmas devotion from the Jesse Tree before opening gifts. Not to mention we always have special donuts for breakfast! Their grandparents come pretty early so that they can enjoy the day with them, and the girls love this because they get to spend the week with their grandparents. For our family, Christmas means family time, sharing, giving, playing, showing God’s love and enjoying one another’s company.