Today starts our observation of Advent. I know that while officially Advent is observed starting the 4th Sunday before December 25th I find it easy to just start on December 1. I don’t want to get technical, I just want to prepare our hearts for this season of celebration.
Growing up I lived next to a catholic family. The boys always had advent calendars. I found myself wishing I could count down the days to Christmas one chocolate at a time. There’s something so joyous in opening a little door for a treat. However I was not without our own family countdown tradition. My parents celebrated the 12 days til Christmas with small gifts. Since there were four of us, we each at three gifts to open leading up to Christmas. We drew numbers to see what order we went and then each night around dinner, the person of the day would get to open their gift. I LOVED this tradition. I also loved when my dad would drive us around to look at lights. I enjoyed helping my mom baking goodies too. I wanted to roll all this into one so I do my own advent activities. Twenty-five in all.
Day 1 : Open a gift under the tree.
It’s always pjs but the kids seem to forget that every year. Kate wanted to open the “BIG ONE” but I gently guided her to the gift with the tag that read: “open Dec 1st”.
Kate’s pjs are a little long but hey, at least she’ll be able to wear them next year too.
Each day will be a new and different activity. There will be fun family activities. Activities that are others-focused such as buying gifts for other kids. And maybe a new tradition or two.
My mother-in-law, Sylvia, made the kids a fabulous Advent calendar and mailed it to us. This one will be filled with candies/chocolates and maybe a quarter or two.
However, I also wanted to truly celebrate Jesus each day because he truly is the reason for the season. I decided this year to download Truth in the Tinsel. This may be the best $4.99 I spend all month. We completed our 1st day right before bed. The kids absolutely loved it. And so did I. They made candle ornaments for our tree. We ended the evening singing “This Little Light of Mine” in a dark closet with only a flashlight. This is what memories are made of. This is one of the best parts of being a mom. Teaching my kids about Jesus and His Love & Light.