Over the past couple of years I have created different Advent calendars at christmas time to celebrate the holiday season. I remember when my kids were toddlers feeling the pressure to do everything the Christmas season had to offer. Make christmas cookies, go caroling, drive around and look at christmas lights. Make sure we watch ALL the christmas movies, get matching christmas pajamas, celebrate advent, attend our churches christmas eve service in our new holiday outfits, and the list goes on and on. What I learned over the years, is what sticks with our kids is not so much the “doing” of all the things, but celebrating the little things. And to me that’s what Advent is all about! Celebrating the anticipation of the newborn King. So today I’m sharing some different Advent Calendar Ideas.
I remember feeling so much pressure to make sure that Jesus remained bigger than Santa, and I struggled to teach my toddlers how Advent played a part. For a time, their tiny minds were just simply caught up in the wonder and awe of the lights on the Christmas tree. Not so much the baby in the manger. But I realized as they got older, first of all I didn’t totally fail as a parent teaching them what Christmas is all about. And secondly, those tiny things we celebrated year after year, laid a foundation in their hearts for what the true meaning of the season is.
Showing kindness to those less fortunate than us around the holidays by bringing extra food in to fill the homeless baskets. Donating gently used jackets and gloves to help others stay warm. Spending time together as a family, cherishing the little moments, and while yes – making christmas cookies.
What I didn’t realize, was that in a subtle way, I was showing them what Advent was all about, and why we do it each Christmas. A way, that their then tiny minds could comprehend. That even though we celebrate Jesus all year long, we pause to remember that Jesus came into this earth, and was born in a manger, and the we anticipate His promised return.
These little things we do, and traditions we carry, are all ways to help us celebrate the season. Showing kindness to others, especially during the holidays, is how we can love like Christ wants us to love. And cherishing time with family and friends in fellowship, is how I showed my children we thank God for his provisions and many blessings in our life that past year. Little holiday traditions that point back to the heart of our heavenly father is how I want to celebrate the season, and show my kids the true meaning of Christmas.
P.S. – This year for Advent, the kids each got their own Lego Advent Calendar, which I have to say they are thoroughly enjoying! My son LOVES Star Wars, so he was thrilled to receive a Lego Star Wars Advent, and my daughter got Lego Friends – which is catered more towards girls. There are quite a few available, so I’ve included some links below – just click on the names to be taken directly to the link.