I had this great idea that I was going to blog each week during Advent about what we were doing, but as is usually the case, I posted one, and now here we are halfway through January and I am frantically trying to remember what we did so I can write a few notes for next year. So, in review:
Each day in December leading up to Christmas, we opened our little Advent bag that told us a story to read in the Jesus Storybook Bible, some verses to memorize (we were working on Luke 2:1-21), and an activity for the day. By Christmas, we were a few stories behind (we caught up on Christmas Eve), I think we memorized through verse 16, and our activities had become more and more practical (like “decorate for our Christmas party” or “celebrate Christmas at Grandma Cleo’s” – you know, things we were doing anyway ;)). I tried to have one ambitious activity each week, with a few successes, like this graham cracker house (which Hadley decided we should turn into a princess winter wonderland) :
and a homemade snow globe, which, honestly, was a total disaster. My friend Penny and I decided it would be a fun activity to do with our girls, but in fact it was a mess of glitter, glue, and baby oil. I had these two adorable pictures I planned to put in two snow globes (along with one of Penny’s sweet girls) :
but this was the only survivor:
Overall, the activities were pretty fun and something Hadley looked forward to every day. I was a little stressed by the end of the month…in my perfect dreamworld future, I would plan all of the activities out for the entire month and put all the supplies in little bags or boxes so we could just pull them out on the day instead of scrambling to Google directions and find supplies while Hadley stares at me from the kitchen table. Probably won’t happen, but there’s my little note-to-self. Other note-to-self: we never watched White Christmas. It’s just not okay. We will make up for that next year.
In case you wondered (and because I know I will wonder next year), things that fell under the category of Advent activities in 2012 were: Family nights with Christmas movies, Christmas carols around the Christmas tree, jammy rides to look at Christmas lights, making Christmas cards and goodie trays for Hadley’s teachers, Christmas baking, preparing for our neighborhood Christmas party, going to Fargoparks art classes to make gifts for mom and dad, visiting Santa’s village, volunteering at the Salvation Army’s gift distribution, various arts and crafts, and our family Christmas celebrations. Whew. Makes me exhausted just thinking about it.
On Christmas Eve, we hosted my immediate family for brunch, gifts and hanging out, went to the Christmas Eve service at our church, and then came home to spend Christmas Eve as just us. We opened Christmas Eve pajamas, caught up on our Jesus Storybook Bible stories and also read Sally Lloyd-Jones’s book, Song of the Stars, watched The Nativity Story, and then tucked the girls in so Jordan and I could scramble to finish prepping Christmas gifts. Christmas morning, we opened presents, ate popovers for breakfast, and then loaded up to go to spend a couple of days in Streeter at the Dahls and a couple of days in Bismarck at my parents’ (where I managed not to take a single picture :/). Now as I’m recalling it all, it really was a fun Christmas season. And totally worth it to make a big deal out of it. We enjoyed time together as a family and basked every. day. in the fact that our Savior humbled himself and came to earth as the little baby who would grow up into the man who would die to rescue us from our sins.
So now, (more than) a few pictures to commemorate the month:
A visit to Santa’s village (we don’t do Santa Claus, but we see no harm in enjoying the pretend story) –
Christmas Eve with my family –
Christmas Eve pajamas –
Jordan wondering why we didn’t get this stuff ready sooner…
Christmas morning –