Friday, December 2, 2011

CHRISTmas Focus

I love family traditions...carrying on one's from my own childhood and adding lots more to our new family. Christmas is the perfect time for traditions and adding new one's too.
But along with our fun traditions of elf on the shelf, reindeer food, & hot chocolate movie nights I want to be adding traditions that help us to keep our focus on Jesus. He is the real reason we celebrate Christmas after all. I want to make sure that Jake understands that we don't just have Christmas to get presents. There is so much more we should have our focus on at this time. And those things are so much more important then the gifts under the tree(although, they are fun too & will be including in our Christmas celebration).

Yesterday we kicked off our Christmas Advent count down. I searched pinterest & several other places on the internet & found lots of very cute ways of counting down, but just wasn't sure what I wanted to use.

We have started Truth in the Tinsel an Advent experience for little hands. It looks like it is going to be lots of fun to do with Jake each day. It includes a short reading(today we read Isiah 9:2-7) & then there is an ornament craft to go with it. All the crafts are pretty simple & include most things you already have around your house. Along with a short little section to talk about what you read and a suggestion to do more together.Truth in the Tinsel is great for us to do as a family each morning.  Last year we did a Jesse tree & a family advent book I had picked up at Lifeway. I am still doing the Jesse tree devotions as part of my daily quiet time. The Jesse tree devotion is by Ann Voskamp(if you know me, you know how wonderful I think Ann is) and a great way to really focus on getting into the spirit of real Christmas. And her devotional is free!

I also wanted to have fun things to do each day as we counted down. A fun little activity we could do sometime throughout the day. Here is our list of things we will be doing over the next month.
1. Open a book-I love the idea of counting down to Christmas with 25 books, but we only have 8 Christmas books around our house. So I wrapped those 8 and spread throughout the month I have included open a book.
2. Make a fun breakfast with Mommy(we made red velvet pancakes this morning...not enough red food coloring, but they still tasted yummy).
3. Open a book
4. Decorate tree with hot chocolate & a fire(w got our tree last week, but have been waiting for daddy to be home to decorate it)
5. Polar Express Movie pj & hot chocolate party
6. Buy yearly ornament
7. Shop for Hope for Christmas
8. Make gingerbread nativity
9. Visit Santa
10. Journey through Bethlehem
11. Fun trip with mommy & daddy(haven't decided if we will do Stone Mountain Christmas or Pettite Creek)
12. Write Letter to Santa
13. Bring letter to the Macy's Believe Santa mail box
14. Drive around neighborhood to see lights
15. Make ice cream cone trees
16. Open book
17. Cookie decorating party
18. Christmas activity with Daddy
19.  Open book
20. Make neighborhood gifts
21. Deliver gifts for neighbors
22. Make reindeer food
23. Jesus birthday party
24. Church & visits with family
25. Read the Christmas story & open presents

So it lead me to want to include both our advent activity and our fun activities into the same Christmas countdown. Each day of our advent activity we make a craft and each craft needs certain materials(Amanda has included a list of all the materials you need along with a list by day in Truth in the Tinsel...really no thinking on my party). I didn't want to have to be searching around for our materials each day before we could sit down and do our activity. I was also trying to use what I had around the house(I was trying to hurry and get it all together on the 30th in preparation for the 1st). And from this was born our white lunch bag Christmas countdown. In each bag is our print out from Truth in the Tinsel & the materials we will need for our craft. On the front of the bag I made a small pocket out of scrapbook paper and tucked a tag into the pocket. On the tag is written the activity we will do each day. In a few of the bags there are also small treats like a chocolate kiss or Christmas sticker that I thought Jake would like finding in the bags too.

1 comment:

  1. The Truth in Tinsel sounds really neat, I will be looking into it. I was very indecisive on Advent activities this year so I'm making it up mostly as we go along. Today we are making ornaments :)