Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 Advent Activities

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I want Christmas to mean for our family.
This year our son is three and a half and he's very much aware of all the Christmas excitement. He is a huge fan of the lights and the music, of wearing a Santa hat, of checking out ornaments on trees, and a couple of weeks ago even made an unprompted gift request.

That's all fine, but at the same time I'd really like to focus primarily on the religious aspect of the holiday.
We're still enjoying a few secular activities but I'm trying to focus more on teaching them that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
I made this list of advent activities yesterday, but then last night I started to think I might like to replace some of these with something a little more spiritually meaningful. Some. I mean, I don't want the magic of Christms to be gone! I just want it to be a different kind of magic.
Here's the first list, and you all let me know if you think of anything spiritually magical for me. =]

1. Open an early Christmas present! (My mom always sends Christmas pajamas for Christmas Eve but we’ve decided to do them on the 1st from now to extend their Christmas magic)
2. Look on Mom & Dad’s bed for a new Christmas book. (My kid is obsessed with Toy Story right now so I was giddy with excitement when I found a Christmas Toy Story book at the Dollar Tree)
3. Christmas light stroller walk
4. Build a snowman with Daddy!
5. Buy a gift for next year’s Operation Christmas Child boxes
6. Bedtime Christmas movie in Mom & Dad’s room
7. Christmas shopping date day (There’s a small plaza in town with a Dollar Tree and a discount grocery store. Ryan will take one of the big kids and I’ll take the other, then we’ll swap. I love seeing the gifts they pick out for their daddy. Sometimes they’re adorably heartfelt, like a tiny toy guitar since Dad likes guitars. Other times they’re a wee bit super selfish, like a toy car followed up with “Can I play wif dat for a bit now?”)
8. Visit a living nativity!
9. Christmas movie picnic lunch!
10. Make Christmas presents for Grandparents
11. Pick a new ornament for our Christmas tree.
12. Spend the whole day wearing Christmas pajamas, listening to Christmas music, and reading Christmas books in a blanket fort.
13. Christmas music dance party after dinner!
14. Pick out toys for the Toys for Tots drive!
15. Color a picture of the first Christmas.
16. Drink hot chocolate.
17. Nutcracker date with Mommy.
18. Bake Christmas cookies with Mommy.
19. Go sledding!
20. Family hike wearing Santa hats!
21. Christmas caroling phone calls
22. Make a Christmas board game!
23. Make a video postcard reading a Christmas book for your friends (Once we read a book three-ish times my kid has it memorized. He gets that from his daddy and my daddy, definitely not from me. I think he’ll enjoy “reading” one of his favorites to the video camera and his little sister will enjoy shouting keywords at the wrong time ;] )
24. I’m still working on the last one. I know there has got to be some kind of cool display in our area we can take the kids to one night/weekend. We have seen so many fun things over the course of our marriage—gingerbread house collection, lights displays, giant Christmas village, etc!) so I’m almost certain there must be something within a few hours of here!

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Thanks so much for your comments! I always read them, don't always have time to answer quickly. Sorry about that!