Last years holiday season was kicked off in an interesting way… On December 1st, Dale and I were excited to get our Christmas tree in the backwoods of the Oregon mountains. Long story short – it ended with Dale in the emergency room and a six inch long ¾ inch deep chainsaw wound to his right thigh (view here if you’re not squeamish). So, for this year, we’re hoping the Christmas season will be kicked off in a more…gentle way.
Our oldest (Aria) who is almost four, has finally reached the age where she’s remembering the meaning and purpose of holidays and traditions. Recently, she has been asking more about Christmas. I’ve had to explain to her that, “Hopefully, daddy will not be cutting his leg open this year and we will have a more exciting holiday!” Lol.
That being said, Dale and I have had several conversations regarding the Christmas traditions we would like to adopt and which ones we want to leave behind. So this year, we will be celebrating our first Advent! Last year, I bought several Advent books to explore but Aria was still too young and not interested in the narrative. However, this season’s curiosity has motivated Dale and I to give the Advent journey another shot!
What is the Advent?
Advent is the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by Christians as a season of prayer and fasting, and the story of Jesus. We’ve decided to walk the journey by using our advent calendar. Starting December 1st, we will pull one tag per day. On every tag, there is a passage of scripture for us to read and on the opposite side is an activity or act of kindness for us to do each day. In addition, we will be starting Ann Voskamp’s Advent book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas.
As you might have guessed, it is very important to Dale and I that our children are taught to have grateful hearts, especially in a season where everywhere you look is an advertisement manipulating our little ones into a heart of materialism. Note: Many Advent calendars are filled with daily toys. As I have mentioned above, we opted for good deeds, instead.
Below I have shared our list of activities and acts of kindness:
- Have the kids make cards and buy a few coffee gift cards to stick inside and hand them out to random parents. We could all use a cup and a cute kid handing you a gift. 🙂
- Offer to babysit.
- Read a book by kerosene lamp or candlelight.
- Tabletop shaving cream snowmen.
- Make treats for our neighbors.
- DIY Nativity scene. Baby Jesus is placed on Christmas day.
- Look for opportunities to bless your brother or sister.
- Have friends over for a kids craft night.
- Talk about miracles Jesus performed.
- Build a gingerbread house…or mansion.
- Wash your brother or sister’s feet and read the Bible story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet in John 13.
- Pick some of your own toys to donate.
- Make hug coupons.
- Do a chore for a family member.
- Take treats to a fire station.
- Paint rocks with encouragements on them and pass them out to others
- Leave a happy note or drawing for someone to find.
- Watch a Christmas movie.
- Sleep by the Christmas tree.
- Find something nice about someone else and let them know.
- Make dad breakfast in bed and eat it with him.
- Write an encouraging note to dad.
- Make hot chocolate and have family coloring or playdoh and talk time.
- Help the grown-ups set the table for Christmas Eve dinner.
- Place baby Jesus in the manger of the DIY nativity scene. Merry Christmas!
We believe traditions are the fabric to our child’s memories. I hope our journey will help you to gain a few memories to implement into your families Christmas season! If you have any other ideas or have celebrated the Advent already, I would love to hear your story in the comments below. We hope you enjoy your Christmas season and the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas 🙂