Friday, December 28, 2012

Advent

A couple of years ago I started seeing a real trend of Advent calendars and ideas. Maybe everyone has been doing them all along but I just started reading blogs and websites that are into all that family type stuff!? Either way I liked the idea. A lot.
But it stressed me out. Really stressed me out.
First of all, Nathan's birthday is December 2!? I am in the throes of planning a birthday party, not adventing! Second of all, if you're going to do Advent activities...they have to be things that everyone wants to do. Not something that half the family can't do (my littles) or half the family groans and starts dreaming up excuses why they can't participate (my bigs-they are not typically like this but you know what I mean! It needs to be pleasant, right?)...
And the calendar has to be cute and crafty. Pinterest worthy! Right?
Or not. Last year I made one with a cardboard drawer kit I bought at the hobby store. And it had 25 drawers. That's 25 ultra cool (or at least passably fun) activities and ideas. For a family of 6. Who have a bazillion other things going. And nights when we're tired...or cranky.
So, this year I changed it up a little!
I made these little envelopes out of Christmas scrapbooking paper.


And we started several days after Nathan's party. And we didn't have near 25 activities. And you know what? We didn't even do all the ones we had!
Some of the ones that we did complete:

  • made snowmen out of cotton balls, glue, ball ornaments, buttons, etc
  • stirred/drank hot chocolate with candy canes from the tree while reading about the candy cane
  • made a chain to count down the days to Christmas eve (Haley and I had fun on this one-we used scrapbooking paper rather than the old red and green construction paper)
  • made ornaments
  • made and decorated cookies (first time ever!)
  • read the Real Christmas story and the silly one (you know, 'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, yada yada yada!?)
  • My older kids put on a kind of puppet show of the nativity (figures on popcicle sticks) for all of us-it was sweet!
  • Watched Christmas movies. While Christmas shopping at Amazon.com I conveniently purchased two classics to start this tradition:
                       
and
 Miracle on 34th Street (Special Edition)


Some that did not make the cut:
  • driving around looking at lights. Because our van is in the shop for warranty work. And the loaner they gave me does not fit the whole family! But it's okay...this was a no stress advent so if we didn't "do it all" it's OK!
  • singing Christmas Carols
  • playing a family game (which really had nothing to do with Christmas anyways, just family time-or maybe that IS what Christmas should be!?
Overall I"m very happy with our Advent. :) I will surely be watching all year this year for new and different ideas. We got a gift from a family that are our dear friends of the story of King Wencaslas (you know, from the song?) and that will be added to our reading stories night. Looking forward to that one! 



1 comment:

Jenn said...

Advent activities stress me out, too! My son has a birthday on the 3rd. I use Ann Voskamp's Jesse Tree advent. We don't do any activities just read the given Bible verses for the day...discuss a bit, and hang the ornament on our tree for the given day. My kind of advent. We don't need any more stress and activities in December, it gets crazy enough!

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