Saturday, December 1, 2012

Advent - in progress

I have loved Christmas for as long as I can remember; the pretty lights, the yummy food, baking, music and gifts (aka: shopping).

One of eight Nativities in our home this year

Now that I am a mom I take Christmas even more seriously.  It is an opportunity to teach my children about Jesus, charity, love, and the beliefs and acceptance of everyone.  We have about half a dozen Hanukah books, a few books of how Christmas is celebrated around the world, and nearly 20 books on Christmas.  Each year I have added more traditions to our Christmas celebration.

Week 1 - Hope
Week 2 - Peace
Week 3 - Joy (pink)
Week 4 - Love

Today is December 1st and its time for our official count down to Christmas.

December 1st - get our LEGO Advent Calendars
- make Snowflake cookies (talk about family traditions)

Grandma Kerseg's Snowflake Cookies

Because I have difficulty sticking to a set schedule we will be spending the next 25 days doing these activities (depending on how much time we have on a given day):

  • Tele-Caroling
  • Read Matthew 1-2 to your family.
  • Christmas Cards for soldiers 
  • Make Christmas Cookies
  • Get Christmas Tree
  • Family Movie Night (4)
  • St. Nicholas Day (Set out shoes and surprise someone with a gift/note)
  • Bible Reading John 1
  • Look at Christmas Lights
  • Shop for stockings
  • Toys for Tots
  • Look at old Christmas Pictures
  • Read Christmas book
  • Make fudge
  • Caroling with scouts
  • Christmas Pageant at Preschool  
  • Write Letters to Santa
  • Make Christmas ornaments
  • Surprise Christmas (4)
  • Breakfast for dinner
  • Letter to Christ Child
  • Dinner by candlelight on the longest night of the year Dec 21st
  • Read Luke 1:26-38

All of our activities are stored in this box.

Other great ideas on how to keep Christ and family foremost in this holiday season are here.  

  • Bless your Christmas Tree
  • Visit a barn and reflect on where Baby Jesus was born
  • Light the Night - You’ll need electric candles or a string of white lights. Put lights in the front windows. A candle in a window was a symbol of Christianity, an outward sign of welcome to passersby that Christ resides in the house, as well as a welcome for the coming of Christ at Christmas.

To do activities:

Jesse Tree.
I would really like to incorporate this tradition into our family, but I need to find a good do-it-yourself kit.  The ones I have found are terribly expensive.

Unwrapping a book a day
This is a fun tradition where you wrap up all your Christmas books and place them under the tree.  Each night a child chooses a book to be read together as a family.  Its a nifty idea, but then it literally hides great books from the children for half the month.  I have books on St. Nicholas Day that should really be read at the beginning of the month.

Get more Advent themed decorations:
I have trouble remembering the focus and readings for the Advent season.  I would love a hanging decoration that can be reused that will remind me of the focus for each week.

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