This morning Matt asked me if I realized that this past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent and it was at that moment that I realized that December is upon us. Really, where has the year gone? I know for me, the last few weeks have passed in a haze of illness (for all four of us), Thanksgiving prep and travel, and thinking oh my goodness this baby is coming soon. So here I sit on the first day of December with nothing planned or prepared for our Advent/Christmas traditions that we’ve hoped to start for the last couple of years (nah, I’m not a procrastinator!).
This morning in the time before our play date I did some searching online and planning in my head and decided that I will make our Advent calendar, we will read through the nativity story in Luke multiple times, we will have Advent candles (don’t know yet whether we’ll have a “wreath” or just the candles), and that we’ll do several Christmas themed activities as a family throughout the month.
I’m trying not to be overly ambitious this year since the wee babe is scheduled to make her appearance sometime in the next 5ish weeks, but I do want to make it a joyous and festive time for our family. So, here is our Advent/Christmas season plan (hopefully it will all play out)…
~Advent Calendar – Since I’m making it, it will be sweet and simple, with emphasis on the simple. Something like this is what I have in mind.
I will, however, rely on printed scrapbook paper and a cute paper punch to create the ornaments.
~The Nativity story – I would like to read through the story every evening, but since our children are so young we will probably have to break it up into a few segments over the course of several nights. I do want to read through it multiple times, though, for the sake of repetition (especially with Little).
~Advent candles/wreath – our Advent candles aren’t the right colors (the store I visited didn’t have any purple candles), but we’ll go with what we have. We will light them on the remaining three Sundays preceding Christmas and will catch up the first week’s candle this coming Sunday.
~Christmas themed activities – this weekend (hopefully) we will put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house, next weekend we will attend a community event called Alpine Village at one of the local churches, and the weekend before Christmas we will drive around to view Christmas lights and make a stop for cocoa/coffee. We also have Christmas cookies to bake, goodies to make for gifts, and will probably have a Christmas get together with friends. And, of course, we plan to attend the Christmas Eve service at our church.
Matt and I hope to teach our children that the Christmas season is more than gifts and Santa and reindeer and spending money; that it is about anticipating and celebrating Christ’s birth, about blessing others from the bounty that God has given us, and about spending time with people you love.
What are your favorite family Advent/Christmas traditions?