Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent Action {Week 3}

{You can find Week 1 Here, and Week 2 Here.}

We've completed our countdown to Christmas, taking part in daily activities that are intended to help us practice generosity and compassion, as well as promote family togetherness and fun.  I admit that I got worn out this last week.  With the Advent tree upstairs in the boys' room, it kind of fell into the "out of sight, out of mind" category, and I often didn't prepare for the next day until I was about ready to crawl in bed.  And logistically speaking, it was different trying to pull together activities when we don't live in our own home.  Obviously, giving and generosity don't require one to have their own house - but it was a bit more work to pull together some of our other activities when I had to either dig things out of a box or think outside of it to make it work.

Regardless, we finished.  We made it to Christmas, and my prayer is that something stuck with the boys, whether it be the importance of giving or the importance of red and green sprinkles.

10 Days til Christmas: Bake cookies

The boys were both way more hands-on than they were last year; Reed, obviously because he's older, and Drew was just way more into it.  We had a good time, although I rolled that dough out plenty of times as the boys don't quite have that spatial comprehension yet (read: placing the cookie cutters close enough together to make as many fit as possible).

9 Days til Christmas: Frost cookies

As I wrote for last week's POTD - I was not cool, or relaxed, enough for this.  If I thought the boys were more hands-on in making the cookies, they were even more so when it came to frosting and sprinkling!  Drew decided he wanted to attempt frosting some cookies, which was great, but led to frosting all over the counter, the chair, the floor and himself.  And Reed.  Well, let's just say that the bottom of my socks were red and green by the time we were finished!

8 Days til Christmas: Let Mommy get the Christmas shopping done with you stay home with Daddy and play!

Or, more accurately: Mom is running out of steam and needs to not think for a while.  BYE!

7 Days til Christmas: Make Gingerbread houses

Fun, fun, fun!  Still the best advent activity ever. :)

6 Days til Christmas: Donate clothes to the Salvation Army

After I had gathered four bags of the boys' old clothes, Drew and I headed up to the donation center.  As much as we've been talking about giving and helping other people, I think Drew is getting it, but I think he's also a little bit like, "ok, alright, I know!"  He wasn't at all enthusiastic to run this errand with me, so it was an exercise for me in setting a good example for my kids more than a hands-on experience for the boys.

5 Days til Christmas: Go see the Christmas lights

We spent about an hour in the van, circling through three or so neighborhoods looking at the Christmas lights.  Grammy gave us the assignment to count how many Santas and Jesuses we saw.  We came back with a count of 12 Santas, 7 Baby Jesuses, a million snowmen, and maybe a million and one reindeer.  Or something like that.

4 Days til Christmas:  Buy a gift for your brother at the Dollar Store

I had seen this idea on my friend Missy's blog, and really loved it.  I love that it is a practical exercise to really think about someone else and what they might like, versus thinking of ourselves and what we like or what we want to give someone else.  Although not ideal, I ended up taking the boys by myself (we had already been in the area of the Dollar Store while out at a playdate, and it beat making a second trip back out there).  I had to do a little creative thinking in getting our items to the cashier without the boys seeing what the other had chosen - and without giving any of the employees the impression that I was shoplifting - but I was able to make it work.  Not gracefully, but I got it done.  Anyway, when we got inside the store, Drew found what he wanted to give Reed right away (a small Tigger toy), and he then proceeded to tell Reed, "I really like Lightening McQueen, Reed.  Be sure to get me something Lightening McQueen."  Reed did need a little help in choosing something, and Drew was relieved when he opened his present to find it was a Cars 2 puzzle.  :) 

3 Days til Christmas:  Forget all about it and do nothing

Yep.  It was that kind of week.

2 Days til Christmas: Open gifts from Mom and Dad

More on this soon.

1 Day til Christmas: Throw Jesus a birthday party 

We attended a Christmas Eve worship service, before returning home to read the Christmas story from Reed's new Bible, sing "Happy Birthday" to Baby Jesus, eat cupcakes, and give Jesus our gifts.  This year, Reed is giving Jesus the gift of learning more about Him.  Drew is giving Jesus the gift of "reading the Bible all the time."  Brad is giving the gift of his time, by way of sharing it more with others.  And I am also giving Jesus the gift of time, through more dedicated times of prayer and Bible reading.

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!

Merry Christmas to you!

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