This is the second year we have celebrated Advent during Christmas time. Advent is a celebration of both the arrival of Christ and his second glorious coming. You can read more about Advent and what it is all about here.
Our family has truly enjoyed celebrating Advent because it helps to focus our hearts on the true meaning of Christmas and that Jesus is such a reason to celebrate! I literally tear up almost every time I read about worshipping Jesus as the newborn King. Even in storybooks to Kay I just can't help it! And to even watch how excited Kay gets when we sing Away in a Manger that she asks to sing it over and over. We do still do gifts on Christmas and stockings too, but Santa is not the central focus of our Christmas. In fact, as we take this season to worship, pray, expect, rejoice, anticipate, and reflect upon Christ's birth and second coming, Santa just seems out of place.
I made this Advent calendar last year that holds each days devotional. You can find the tutorial here. Every night as a family we gather usually at the dinner table, and we use this devotional which was created by our pastor and his wife. We light the candle for the corresponding week and in addition are also reading Luke 2:1-21, taking one verse at a time and each night adding a new one to it. So by the time Christmas comes we will be reading the entire passage.
We then turn the lights out and sing a few Christmas hymns by candlelight. This is the girls favorite part of course! We make motions to the songs, and Kay has them memorized by like the second time we do them. She has a crazy good memory!
And this is not the only time of the day we talk about Jesus's birth.
Every morning Kay can pull one book from our book basket under the tree that relates to the Nativity or the Christmas story. I think I checked 11 out from the library and the rest I borrowed. There are so many cute books for children that I may plan to buy some for our own collection for next year!
I also have an activity planned for most every day this month that Kay and I will do together. Some activities include various crafts, baking cookies, making homemade ornaments, making a gingerbread house with Daddy, watching a Christmas movie together as a family, Kay drinking hot chocolate in her special snowman cup, and going to Santa's Wonderland (an awesome drive through world of Christmas lights). I also plan to have a special Christmas Tea Party each year with my girls when they get older. I just get excited thinking about it!
We sing ALOT. I'm sure my neighbors think we are crazy folk up in here cause the music is loud and the singing loud too. But who knew singing Christmas hymns could be so much fun? Kay's favorite so far is Away in a Manger. When I ask her what song she wants to sing she says.."I want one bout a manger!" It's so cute! Jane loves to watch us and laugh.
It's also awesome to watch Kay understand some of what we have been teaching her so far. I probably read/talk about the Christmas story to her several times a day and ask her questions as we read to see what she is comprehending. She now loves to point out a star everywhere we go because she remembers reading about it in the Christmas story.
On Christmas day I will make cinnamon rolls and we will sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Only don't expect a regular candle in that cinnamon roll. : ) Oh no...instead... a trick candle will be used to represent the light of Christ and how it goes on forever and can live on forever in your life if you are a believer. (The trick candle happened by accident last year when I pulled an old candle from my Granny's drawer. So the tradition sticks!)
So these are just some of the fun things we do to celebrate Christmas as a family. We pray God is given glory this Christmas in whatever way you choose to celebrate.
I am a wife to an amazing husband, and blessed to be able to stay at home with my 3 beautiful girls. Join me as I seek to wholeheartedly follow after my Savior, Jesus Christ, and as I share about the daily happenings of Kay, Jane, & Blaire.