advent adventures

In an effort to pursue meaningful experiences this holiday season I decided to reinvent a family tradition. From the time my boys were very young, a pocket advent calendar has been filled with a piece of candy by “the elves” each day as a countdown to Christmas. As I’ve gotten older and less mindful of things as important as candy, sometimes I would be informed by my children that “the elves forgot.” “The elves” would then have to sneak in without being seen during the light of day to fill that day’s pocket.  

 

Since the kids are older now and not around to eat their candy, the pockets have been given a new purpose.    

 

Each day “the elves” put one of these little cards into the appropriate pocket (along with a piece of Dove chocolate, of course) and we are supposed to find time to complete that activity during the day. Sometimes they are simple and quick things, like finding two funny YouTube caroling videos to share later in the evening. Other times it is something we would normally do anyway, like watching a movie or going to the Christmas Eve service at our church. The ones I liked the best were things that we don’t normally do. Like feeding the birds.  

    
 (… And the squirrels)   

 

Making paper snowflakes was also fun…  

 

We read How the Grinch Stole Christmas (one of my favorite children’s Christmas stories) and I learned that my husband has an alarmingly amazing impression of the Grinch.

There was this card:  

 We made (and by we, I mean I went out to the garage and helped until I got too cold and then my husband finished it… Sorry Todd) this:  

  
In evaluating a month filled with creative and fun activities, I have to  ask myself whether this was just adding more busy into an already hectic season. 

My answer is no. 

This was a gift. The gift of choosing to say no to other things and spend intentional time together doing something fun and Christmas related. Overall it was a great experience. 

If you’d like a list of all my advent activity ideas, let me know in the comments below or send an email. I’m happy to share. 

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