Monday, November 26, 2012

More Advent Ideas

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend with loved ones and celebration.  We enjoyed time with family and delicious food!  But now that Thanksgiving's over, our minds are pretty much on Christmas, right?  So I wanted to continue talking about Advent Conspiracy and sharing ideas for ways that we can make this season more about Jesus and less about going into debt and being crazy busy.

Here are a few more ways we are trying to accomplish this in our family.

less presents.  I know, this is probably the hardest thing for us, isn't it?  I think presents are a perfectly fine part of celebrating Christ's birth.  We give gifts as a way of celebrating.  We want to bless each other because the Lord has blessed us.  And that's a good thing.  But this becomes excessive quite quickly, doesn't it?  It's been really good for us to cut back over the past few years.  One way we do that is by giving our kids 3 main gifts.  The significance is that Jesus received 3 gifts (from the wise men), and the other cool part of it is that it keeps gift giving under control.  We throw in a few cheap stocking stuffers, but each kid gets 3 main presents.  It just makes things more simple and meaningful.

childproof nativity.  My in-laws bought Ephraim a Fisher Price nativity set a couple years ago and my boys love it.  I love that they get to interact with the Christmas story and play with it.  And it keeps them away from the more breakable decor for a while!  It makes them more interested in the story and it gives us an opportunity to tell it more often throughout the season.  If you don't have a toy nativity set, I really recommend getting one!

watch your schedule.  We tend to get so busy this time of year, don't we?  There are so many events and shows and parties and we just get busy busy busy.  Remember to say "no" to the things that don't really matter to you so you can say "yes" to the things that do.  You don't have to go to every event your invited to this season.  Don't let every day become booked up.  Leave room for relaxing, worshiping, and enjoying the things that really make this season special to you.  We try to leave one Saturday in December totally open.  We pick it ahead of time and say "no" to anything that comes up.  That's our day to enjoy our family and our traditions.  Use that day to watch Christmas movies and drink hot chocolate and wrap presents and bake cookies.  Don't make it a day about a to-do list, but just ENJOY it.

Your turn!  Share with us how you take the stress out of the season or how you help your kids grasp the meaning of Christmas.  Or anything else that simplifies your season. 

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