Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Advent Action Activities

Now that Christmas is officially over, I wanted to recap all that we did for this year's Advent action activities.  Like the last two years, the boys have counted down to the big day by completing an activity, either tradition-based or service-based.  As I mentioned previously, I think we are going to have to alter our approach to this tradition.  It just gets to be too much activity for an already busy season, especially in light of the fact that Drew is in school all day long.  But nonetheless, we did complete a handful of tasks this year.  Take a look.  

Write letters to Santa.

Family game night (with a new game).

Color pictures & write letters to Jairo, our Compassion child.

Experience the Christmas Walk at Dow Gardens.
This was a new activity for us this year, obviously.  And it was absolutely spectacular.  We joined up with some friends, and walked through the Gardens, completely mesmerized by the lights and music and beauty that we found even in the darkness of night.  It was chilly, for sure, but nothing that a good pair of cuddleduds couldn't conquer. :)

Watch a new Christmas movie (Home Alone).

Go shopping for the Sharing Tree.
Our church sponsored a Sharing Tree through the United Way, and as a family, we chose one card from the tree.  We spent a Saturday afternoon looking for appropriate gifts for the young boy we had selected.  I don't think the boys really "get it" yet, but I see glimpses into the love and generosity their hearts hold.

Pick out your new Christmas tree ornaments.
This included a trip to Hallmark for the boys to select their 2012 ornaments.  This is a tradition that is a part of my childhood.  The idea is that when the boys are adults and move out into a home of their own, they'll take their ornaments with them to start their own tree.

Gather items to donate to the Caregiving Network.
The Caregiving Network is an organization that provides assistance to those in need in our community. The boys assisted in emptying our linen closet of excess toiletry items that CgN was in need of.

Go see the Christmas lights.

Go to a Christmas party (a few area churches hosted a party for some of the poorest residents in our county).
This was the perfect opportunity to promote relationships with people who are, perhaps, a little bit different than we are.

Bake cookies.

and frost them.

Have a birthday party for Jesus (at our church after services on a Sunday morning).

Visit Santa.  At his house.
So this was supposed to be pretty cool.
Midland boasts it's very own Santa house, open during the Christmas season for kids and parents to meet and greet jolly ol' St. Nick.  We arrived 30 minutes before the door was to open, and joined in with the already-forming line of other anxious children.  When the doors didn't open on time, wondering comments were spoken about what was going on.  Twenty minutes past opening time, the doors finally opened, and we were told that there would be no Santa this particular night.  Apparently there was a problem with his sleigh.
Well bah-humbug to you too, Santa Claus.
Regardless of Santa's absence, we waited our turn in line to get our first view of what the inside of Santa's house looks like.

I tried to take a handful of photos, but the lighting inside the house is very poor.  But is it awesome in there, Santa or no Santa.  You'll just have to take my word for it. :)

Buy a gift for your brother.
At trip to the Dollar Store (separately) to choose something they think their brother might might like.  Both boys did an awesome job at this!

Make gifts for your teachers.
I made these crayon letters for Drew's school teachers, and the boys put together the candy cans from 2010 for their Sunday morning and Wednesday evening teachers at church.

Make gingerbread houses.
Still my most favorite Christmas activity of all.

Camp out in the living room.
So...this one didn't go so well.  This is the morning after when the camp out should have been: 30 minutes into bedtime, both boys ended up back in their own beds for disrupting each other when they should have been sleeping.  We left out the air mattress and snuggled together the next morning as we watched our shows.

Open presents from Mom and Dad.

Enjoy a special holiday treat.

And with that, another Advent season is in the books!

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