Advent Ideas for Real Families

My daughter came home from school today and informed me that she is now the only child in her class without a Christmas Tree.  I started to feel some mom guilt coming on and then I looked at my watch and realized something.  It is only December 3rd.  There have been some years where the tree enters the day after Thanksgiving but so many more when the tree arrives much later.  I love all that goes into "Tree" day and everything else about this month.  I also know something about myself.  I easily get swept up in the perceived "must do" list and forget to just enjoy what this month is really about in the first place.  I can become crazy mommy trying to force traditions that turn into nightmares.... or I can slow down, let some things go, and actually build some wonderful memories with my family.

I thought I would share a few Advent ideas for real families.  And by real families, I mean, laundry mountain - dirty toliet - dusty floor - encrusted kitchen table - don't know the last time when my kids showered because my brain is on overload - families.  Hope you find a nugget to enjoy and leave one of your own to share.  Here's to a simple and wonderful Christmas holiday season.





Chocolate Calenders
My kids love these.  Their Nana buys them every year.  The kids love to see what picture is on their chocolate each day.  And because we don't do many sweets, these are a huge treat.  The thrill of havine one little peice of chocolate each night after dinner is off the chart exciting for my crew.






Countdown to Christmas Paper Chain
You can get the back story on this idea here.  The kids measure and cut the strips.  Then they divide them up.  On each strip is written a name of someone they would like to pray for this month.  Each night, during our family time, one chain is ripped off and a we pray together for the person named on that strip of paper.  I love seeing who the kids write down and they get really into it because they do the whole thing from start to finish.





Advent Bags
Advent Bags are another way to countdown to Christmas day.  You can check out how to make them here. If you don't get started until day 5 or can't do it everyday, no worries.  Life with little ones is like that.  As my kids get older they are getting over some of the younger craft ideas.  But I have found if I make them in charge of leading the activity and helping their younger siblings, they get back into it again.



Advent Wreath
There are so many things you can do with the advent wreath.  Just google it and you will come up with many different stories, scriptures, songs and activities.  We are currently without a wreath.  So this year our advent "wreath" looks like a round serving platter with five mismatched candles on it.  The kids don't care what it looks like.  I think the part they  enjoy the most is lighting the candles and blowing them out.  The idea is that you light one more candle each Sunday leading up to Christmas.  So by Christmas Day you have four candles lit and then you light the one in the middle of the wreath.  It is a very simple way to turn the focus back on the message of the gospel.  Here is the one we are using this year from www.swtblessings.com





Now to do something with all those pumpkins still on my front porch.....


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