Then starting December 1st, we will begin our newly created Advent Traditions for our family. Since I didn't grow up celebrating Advent, I've been learning from friends' families, from suggestions on facebook and Pinterest and just searching my heart and scripture for what is truly important. Here, I'll just list out a couple of things I have done or will be doing this year.
1. I sent out the 2nd annual email to Lucas' grandparents casting vision for what I'd like his Christmas memories to be about... family gatherings, learning to anticipate Jesus' coming, as well as not bombarding him with every toy a boy could ever want, but certainly does not need. I gave them a few ideas I have for things that would be helpful and beneficial to him... some toys and some activities... if they felt inclined to donate to :)
2. I've created an Advent Calendar of sorts. See this post for details.
3. I stole this idea from this mom. Because it's a good one. I'm collecting a children's Christmas book for each day of Advent. Lucas will get to unwrap and read one each day. I've found several at the library and several at Half Price Books. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to find stories about Jesus rather than Santa, but they are out there! It wouldn't be fiscally responsible right now for me to buy them all, so we may do a few repeats. But since repetition of the story is what this is all about... he'll love it! If you like this idea, the above listed blogger has a huge list of books on that link. She also has a million more Advent ideas. I've found a few others books: The Little Drummer Boy by Kristina Redams; Little Porcupine Christmas by Joseph Slate; One Starry Night by Lauren Thompson, Waiting for Christmas by Monica Greenfield; One Winter's Night by Leo and Diane Dillon; The First Night by BG Hennessy; The Christmas Star by Igloo Books and The Christmas Story by Igloo Books. Just use your own discretion when sharing any story that includes details not directly from the Bible... like the Little Drummer Boy. But this book made me cry!
|A few that I've found so far!|
4. We will say our Advent Prayers each night. When Lucas is with us, we will use this Children's Devotional called Welcome Baby Jesus. I've never used it before but it looks fun. We will light our Advent candles and all say things we are thankful for and things we sacrificed that day... like sharing a toy with a friend, or Daddy working longer than he wanted to so that the family will be provided for. For each thanks and each sacrifice said, we will put a (yet-to-be-created/bought) trinket into a treasure box for Jesus for his birthday.
This all may sound like a lot. It might be too much. We will adjust as needed. But I'm hoping to simply incorporate it all into our daily activities to help us focus our hearts and minds on Christ's coming. And in the end may we all cry out in a deeper way... "Come Lord Jesus!"