Friday, December 02, 2011

The 24 day WAIT
Trying to focus small children on the meaning behind Christmas can be challenging, at best!  The Christmas season brings candy, presents, cookies, bright lights, no school, friends and rarely seen family members, and tons of extra special activities all squeezed into one month!!  No wonder it's the favorite season of children!  No wonder it's my favorite season!  
Our family has lots of ways that we enjoy the long 24 day wait, or advent.  Most of them are geared specifically toward teaching and re-enforcing the birth of our risen SAVIOR.  Instilling the excitement of the wait - as the world waited for the prophesied Messiah
Micah 5:2
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Through you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."

and as we wait for the return of Jesus
Acts 1:11
"who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

The Advent calendar
behind each door is a nativity ornament we talk about and hang on a small wire tree.  
A small treat also awaits the children each night.

We started this last year
Adorenaments from Family Life
A set of 12 ornaments that highlight the names of God.  
We do these the 12 days leading up to Christmas.  The kids love to see each new ornament and take turns adorning the tree.

This is an idea I got from Life as Mom that we are doing this year and I am so excited!!  This is a "fun" countdown.  THIS is how I am squeezing in all the extra special activities into our month!
Each day of  December has an envelope that encloses a top-secret family activity.  Life as Mom has a whole list of activities and cards ready to print here, but I decided to make up my own activities that are "must haves" at the Smith house.  I made sure their were lots of outings balanced with lots of at home activities (with a few "bail out/ we're pooped/ can't muster the energy" activity cards that Ben and I can swap out at will)

I just printed out our FUN on card stock and cut them to fit into envelopes.

Made a master plan list (in pencil, of course), numbered and stuffed the envelopes.

Kate and I made a chain out of our scraps to add to our decor.

 Can't wait to open that envelope tonight!!
Enjoy your advent season!!


Chastity Gomez said...

I LOVE the family activity envelope countdown- SO cute! I may just do it in January because that month takes FOREVER for us!