Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our Advent Celebration

Main Entry: Ad·vent
Pronunciation: \ˈad-ˌvent, chiefly British -vənt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin adventus, from Latin, arrival, from advenire
Date: 12th century
1 : the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting
2 a : the coming of Christ at the Incarnation b : second coming
3 not capitalized : a coming into being or use personal computers>
from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary and Thesaurus

Yesterday we started our Advent calendar. It's a little house that my husband and I bought before we had kids. I knew that I wanted to count down the days to Christmas when we had littles of our own and I wanted to include some fun activities, how we can help others, how we can give to others, and how we can prepare our hearts for Jesus' birthday. Here's what we have planned:

Day 1 read Luke 1:26-38 and discuss how the angel came to Mary and told her that she would have baby Jesus; open Fisher Price Little People Nativity set and talk about all the people included in the box

Day 2 be mom's helper by washing the dishes after dinner tonight

Day 3 treat

Day 4 make popcorn and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas movie

Day 5 money to buy a hat and mittens for the Mitten Tree at church

Day 6 read Matthew 1:18-25 and discuss how an angel came to Jesus' mom and His dad; make angels out of coffee filters

Day 7 treat

Day 8 money to buy your brother a gift for his stocking

Day 9 bring a meal to a family from church

Day 10 make caramel corn and deliver to neighbors with The Perfect Gift tags

Day 11 make hot chocolate and go for a ride to look at Christmas lights

Day 12 build an ornament with dad at Lowe's workshop and deliver to someone special

Day 13 read John 1:6-9; each boy will get their own flashlight and we'll go on a scavenger hunt around our home in the dark

Day 14 treat

Day 15 make mixes (pancakes, French vanilla cocoa, Chai tea, etc)

Day 16 make dad's lunch and supper

Day 17 deliver mixes (from Day 15) to friends/babysitters

Day 18 build a snowman; if no snow make snowmen from rice krispie treats

Day 19 attend The Perfect Gift

Day 20 read Isaiah 9:2,6 and talk about how Isaiah, the prophet, told the people that there would be a Savior born; sing Christmas carols by candlelight

Day 21 treat

Day 22 pipe cleaners gift (great thing to play with on a long car ride)

Day 23 pack for our trip and talk about how Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem

Day 24 build a manger for Jesus with a shoebox and write names and attributes of Jesus on strips of yellow and orange paper (hay) to prepare a bed for Jesus

Day 25 read Luke 2:1-20; put baby Jesus in the manger and sing "Away in a Manger"

Most of the days will be a slip of paper with a hint of what the activity is for the day. But there could be a treat or a symbol of what's up for the day, or even some cash (Day 5) for little shopping trips. I hope my boys enjoy this Advent season and next year we will add the Jesse Tree devotions to our Christmas traditions.

Some other great Advent ideas:
RCA Jesse Tree - we plan on doing this with our boys next year
Baby Sock Advent Calendar
Teaching Mom's Advent Calendar - don't be overwhelmed by all the ideas on this calendar, just pick what you want to use and skip the rest - that's what I did ;)
Christ In Christmas - we bought this book when we were first married and planned on using it with our family some day but it seemed a little over the heads of our toddlers, so maybe when they're a little older


Sarah said...

Sounds like fun! We've been failing at our advent calender.=(

Rachel S said...

These ideas are great and a good mix of things. I am excited for our baby to be old enough to do things like this:) I really want to do a Jesse Tree every year.

Hope you have a wonderful Advent celebration:)

We miss you guys!