This year for the first time I feel really excited by Advent (rather than swamped by good intentions and no time to execute them!). I think the boys are at an age where they can fully participate with it and engage in the excitement as well understanding the deeper meaning of it all.
For the first time this year I have made an advent calendar for the boys and filled with an activity for every day of advent.
Some are Christmassy and some are just about being together as a family.
Here is our list. This one was mainly inspired by Treena-Marie and there are some other excellent lists I’ve seen around too.
1. Decorate the tree
2. Family Christmas celebration with some other families
3. Make Cards for the teachers
4. Sing carols together as a family (with the help of You Tube!) Changed to making woolly sheep from our advent swap parcel
5. Have a pancake breakfast
6. Make snowflakes to hang around the house
7. Have hot chocolates and read Christmas stories before bed
8. Go to the supermarket and each choose something for the Christmas food bank
9. Plant something together Make the gingerbread house we got given all the pieces for
10. Play board games together before bed
11. Make ‘Christmas Puddings’ (mallow puffs with white chocolate, jaffas and spearmint leaves)
12. Read Luke 1 – maybe act it out?
13. Make Reindeer noses for friends (these are the ones we did last year https://makeitgiveit.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/hello-friday/ )
14. Mum’s Shop the Christmas version (the boys come and shop for each other – this is what my mum’s shop thing is all about – http://createhopeinspire.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/bmwb-36-mums-shop.html )
15. Family bike ride – flip a coin at each corner to see which way to turn
16. Make Christmas crackers together
17. Read Luke 2
18. Listen to Christmas music
19. Do some baking together to give way
20. Watch a Christmas movie together
21. Wrap up gifts with mum (stuff they bought at Mum’s shop)
22. Go to a friend’s house and sing them some carols (The Atlas will hate this one!!)
23. Make North Pole cupcakes these are ours from last year https://makeitgiveit.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/make-my-week-44-christmassy-edibles/
24. Go to the Christmas eve service
This week the boys and I spent Friday afternoon putting the tree up together. This is a reasonably (for my skills!) complex task and there were times I wanted to just shoo them away so I could do it quickly. But I stopped and intentionally reminded myself I want this to be special for all of us, we are in no hurry, this is supposed to be fun – it made all the difference.
Then while they were in bed I put up the Advent Calendars, got the nativity out, positioned the wise men (they are making their way to Bethlehem and the boys have to fund them every day), and put up the wreath. I also wrapped the Christmas Books we were giving them and made and wrapped a handmade ornament for them both (a yearly tradition).
So on Saturday (my birthday) we spent a beautiful morning as a family decorating our tree. I love the sense of decorating together. The anticipation of many shared family activities and the conversations that arise. We talked about the Christmas Tree and how it is ‘ever-green’ and how that reminds me that God’s love for all of us is also ever green – it never changes, it never runs out, it never dies.
I have so enjoyed doing this series. I know it has really grown me as a Mama.
This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be) is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too.
Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.
also in keeping with the Christmas theme I’m linking in here