To some it might be the most wonderful time of the year. To many it often feels like the busiest time of year. To many people doing "Advent" is just piling more onto the never-ending seasonal to do list. So, why do Advent?
For starters we celebrate Advent in two ways. An Advent Calendar (which I will discuss today and probably a few more times this season) and an Advent wreath which I hope to write about tomorrow.
Growing up my parents started doing the advent calendar as a way to organize and schedule all the various Christmas activities that came with being a senior pastor. As my dad's church grew and his job changed it wasn't needed for that as much. By the time my younger brother and I came around the Advent Calendar was about celebrating the small ordinary moments of life and making them "special". My parents never went looking for an activity to do to fill a square. Rather they made a big deal out of things we would have done any ways like wrapping Christmas gifts. They used the calendar as a tool to purposely celebrate the normal things in life and elevate them to "moments."
Advent Calendar: What it is not.
For us the Advent calendar is not about giving gifts to our kids every single day.
It's not about spending a lot of money.
It's not about adding to a never-ending to do list or creating seasonal mommy guilt.
It's not about coming with activities just to fill up a square.
What our Advent Calendar IS:
We celebrate Birthday Months in our house and the advent calendar is a way to celebrate Jesus' Birthday Month.
It is a way for us to celebrate the little things.
It is being intentional in our activities and actions for a month.
It's about spending time together.
It's about embracing the inherent magic of the season.
It's about a few extra surprises that don't cost much but bring big smiles to our kids faces (more ideas for that later).
Most years we forget a day or two, but that's ok. It's about doing what you can and what works for your family.
Advent Day One: A special toy hidden on the Christmas tree. (I found a package of two large zipper pulls at Wal-Mart for $1.00 super cheap advent "gift" that had my kids so excited. Their favorite part was hunting on the tree).
Advent Day Two: Put on new Santa hats ($0.99 each at Wal-Mart) and go walk in the Lynchburg Christmas Parade!
Extra treat, stop for ice cream after.
I love Advent Calendar so much and would love to help one of your out. So leave a comment about some of the activities you would like to put in your own advent calendar and I will send a few goodies to fill in the days when you don't have the time or energy for an activity. Comments will close Tuesday night. I'll use a random number generator on Wednesday the 5th to pick the winner.