Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and didn’t shop too hard on black Friday. That madness was crazy! My hats off to you if shopped the major store chains.
Back to our program.
So today marks the second day of the first week of advent. I’m sure you’ve been seeing all the activities and ideas going around but I have to admit, I completely ignored them. Why you say? Because for the longest, advent, to me, was no more than a catholic tradition or some sort of lent ritual and I, being the legalistic christian that I was, was not about to be judged for starting a tradition in my family that originated from Catholicism. (And to clarify, advent didn’t start in the catholic church, it goes way back before that from Lutheran’s to old older Christians) Sorry to say but it is true. My children have always gotten gifts for Christmas but I’ve always been the intentional mother who focused more on the Christ in Christmas. It’s always been more Jesus, and less gifts. Needless to say, I kind of go crazy on Christmas. Not black Friday crazy but, “I have to get that because they will freak out” crazy. Forgive my ignorance, but once I read up on what advent is supposed to symbolize, I grew more interested. That’s right, I learned what advent means to me as a christian and I grew more interested. The video below best explains what it means to Christians today.
click here if you cannot see this video.
Advent is a time that people all around the world celebrate the hope that we have in Jesus, the fact that he was born and the celebration of his coming and what his birth symbolizes for us. So in this time we take time to reflect on the goodness of Jesus and focus more on him besides our usual traditions of gift giving, holiday parties and cookie swaps. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to buy gifts and do all of our family and holiday traditions, just as long as our hearts still come back and line up with the fact that if all of that vanishes, our hearts will remain solid in Jesus. Have at it. With that being said I have some great ideas for you! Ideas for the kiddos and maybe just for you.
1. Cardboard Advent wreath and candles from jamiespurejoy
2. Easy pocket Advent Calender from strangeandlovelyride
3. Fun and frugal Advent jar from messforless
4. Advent wreath and songs from letsplaykidsmusic
5. Advent action cards from theiowafarmerswife
6. Adventures in Odyssey Advent activity calendar from focusonthefamily.com
7. Host a Candy Cane hunt
8. Write scriptures in a card and give it to someone to encourage them
9. Make an ornament for someone
10. Take stuffed animals to a hospital and give them out
11.Write a letter to Jesus thanking him and praising him
12. Make snowflakes and hang them in the window
13. Do a family or individual advent devotional
14. Go caroling to the neighbors, a nursing home or relatives
15. Write a note to the mail man or lady
16. Read a book a day as an advent activity
17. Make an ornament for Jesus
18. Donate old toys or new one’s to a local place
19. Make cards for your local fire company
20. Clean up someone’s trash
21. Put cookies in the mail box
22. Take someone a meal
23. Make a craft and send it to someone
24. Visit a live nativity
25. Camp out in the living room with hot chocolate, a fake snowball fight(socks or marshmallows) and Christmas movies
There are tons of other things that you can do to encourage someone or be kind. In this time, My family has taken the approach to make it about everyone else and not ourselves. My husband and I have chosen to take Christmas and teach our children the value of the gifts they receive and the value of the gifts they give. We want to intentionally move them toward esteeming others over themselves. We will do a lot for each other but we also want to be a light and love to all those around us.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
How will you celebrate advent if you are? What activities are you choosing to partake in? Please share!
And as always, with everything I post, I do hope you love this and can add some of these things to your own list.