When I started this advent season I wanted to keep the tradition of our daily advent activities, we have done it for 2 years now and the girls love it!
At the same time I want to teach them that Christmas is more than getting to do lots of fun stuff. Don't get me wrong doing fun stuff is ok,
but if that is all we do it can make everything else a little foggy.
If you ask the girls what Christmas is about they always reply, "it is about Jesus, he was born!"
And as much as they say that, I don't know how much they actually KNOW that.
But to remember Jesus shouldn't we all try to do what he asked, at least a little bit?
I mean I fail at it completely all the time, but I really want to do a better job of SHOWING my girls things that I tell them to do, things that the Bible says. The Bible teaches us "It is better to give than to receive." How many times have I told my kids this phrase and yet when we clean the playroom the only toys they want to give away are the broken ones? And I can tell you right now that if I asked my girls if they would rather get a new Elsa Frozen doll or give one away, they would pick the receive half of that scenario and to be honest so would I. It is ok to receive, no shame there, but I don't want to forget about the giving part. And so much of what Christmas is about is giving.
I mean God only gave us His one and only son, so maybe I can share a latte, right?
So this year we mixed it up a bit. If I took the girls to get a treat somewhere, then we got a treat for someone else, a neighbor, a friend, etc. If they got a new book they got extra books to give to others. When we bake, we gave the treats to others. They still got to do the fun activity, or eat the yummy treat, but they also gave. I could have tried just the giving part, you know lets just give our neighbors a fun treat and you don't get any, buttttttt that's would have been met with sour faces and whines. As much as I would love to say that my angel children would just give up everything for others and take nothing for themselves that's not reality. The average age in my house is 3, so for now trying to teach the concept of giving means there is a bit of getting involved. I could be doing this totally wrong, and ruining my children because I am not allowing them to be total self sacrificing, or then again I could be just allowing them to be kids.
Not every activity was about giving, some of it was just tradition or fun. The girls still got to meet
Some Special time with Grammy & Poppy
Some Plain old fun
And some of the giving was met with receiving in return. Maya gave a girl at school a new book, and a few days later Maya came home with a brand new book from the girl she had just given to. We dropped of treats at a neighbors and they gave us treats in return. We brought dinner to another mom and she came and brought is dessert! It was really sweet and fun to see!
I am not trying to make other people feel bad they aren't doing the same, my real hope is actually to encourage others. I had a lot of people start doing the daily advent activities that our family did, so I thought maybe if I do it this way others will be encouraged to do something similar, you know like a pay it forward thing.
And if not, we had fun!
And if not, we had fun!