I take advent notes. I make a calendar every December, usually with colored pencils. I fill in activities for each day, add and take out things as we go along. My second (and last!) sewing project was 24 mini drawstring bags to use for Advent. Certain things stick over the years, and others slip out of the plan. We started when the older boys were 3 and 1. No preschool, pottery class, soccer game, or anything else. Just open-ended days full of snowy neighborhood walks, crafting, playing, napping, and other not-so-pleasant things that come with littles. I have sweet memories of those days when our advent traditions were born. This year, though, we face a new challenge. Cole and Max both go to school. All. Day. That means any advent hoopla happens after school. And we all know what after school evenings are like. Cra. Zy. So instead of throwing in the towel on advent, we are forming a new style as we go along. Keeping the important stuff, ditching the not-so-important.
To begin, there are no drawstring bags hanging anywhere. No daily activity. No Hershey’s kisses or hugs and let’s be real, no consistent daily Bible reading. There is little crafting, but a whole lot of brainstorming and giving. A whole lot of discussion around the table about the candles that represent waiting for Jesus to arrive. A whole lot of “what can we give our neighbors?” or “what does it mean to give a gift to Jesus for his birthday?” (There is usually some burping or talk about next year’s Halloween costumes mixed in, too.) So our new style is more carpe diem-ish. I have a calendar on the fridge, days filled in with ideas. When a moment arises, we seize it. If not, there’s tomorrow. And Christmas will come, with or without my activities. Jesus came for us. I can use a fresh reminder that He is enough.
As we wait for Christmas, there are some things we love to do. A list for you.
1. Watch Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and drink Grinch Punch.
2. Give each boy some cash and look through gift catalogs such as Samaritan’s Purse for gifts to give to those in need.
6. Bake a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve.
7. Visit a local church’s live nativity celebration.
8. Read Christmas books!
9. Host a birthday party for Jesus with Zeke’s little buddies.
10. Go on a winter hike and spread seeds as a Christmas gift to the birds and animals.
11. Make snowflakes and use lots of glitter! This is best on a day when school is cancelled due to…snow! (Chance of this tomorrow!)
12. Go to a SNC show!