Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Advent Adventures

Advent is probably my very favorite time of year. I love the sights, sounds and smells as we get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It's a very exciting time!  This fall I had been hoping to have some type of countdown for the kids to use during advent that would help them get a better understanding of the waiting period.  In addition to putting a stick in a manger bed each day for doing acts of kindness I wanted to have an activity to do and group of people to pray for.  After scanning Google I found hundreds of beautiful advent calendars of all kinds from envelopes clipped to a line, pockets sewn onto a larger piece of material, paper with doors cut out and more. I was excited about making some type of advent calendar but I didn't want it to be too complicated because I knew I wouldn't finish it in time if it was. The envelope idea was very appealing to me but I didn't know if I wanted to hang a big line across our room and knew my husband wouldn't be favoring the idea either.

 In the end I decided to glue envelopes onto a poster board.  Most of them are purple except for 7 pink ones for the third week. I used old thank you cards from our wedding that we STILL have left over. It has our initials on the front and a blank inside so it was perfect. Purple and pink envelopes would have been pricey to purchase and were hard to find as it was so I painted them with acrylic paint (which worked much better than tempera by the way). I wrote the numbers of each day of advent with gold on the front. It didn't take as long as I thought it would.

Here is what the final product looked like.  My son really enjoyed looked forward to pulling an envelope out each day to find out what the activity and prayer were for the day.  Some days I waited until the morning of to put the envelope in and some days were planned in advance.  I really enjoyed it too!

Some of the activities we did were:

Go shopping for a little girl we are helping out for Christmas.
Bring food to the church pantry.
Have a pancake pajama party.
Put up the Christmas tree while listening to Christmas/Advent music.
Drive around and see Christmas lights.
Drink hot cocoa under the tree and hear stories about mommy and daddy's Christmases when they were little. 
Help Daddy with his meals on wheels route.
Make Daddy and sister's Christmas presents.
Read the book called the Crippled Lamb
Watch the Little Drummer Boy and talk about what you would give Jesus if you got to visit His manger.
Write letters to Santa
Take a pretend ride on the Polar Express and have hot cocoa.

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