Sunday, November 25, 2007

Advent

This year we wanted to add more meaningful traditions to the Christmas season. These are a few of the ideas I've run with. I chose things that build anticipation, express the true meaning of Christmas and are fun!
This is the calandar that I made out of felt. I sewed the pockets so that they would be 3" square. If you don't know how to sew or don't enjoy it, I'm sure you can find one at a store somewhere!


1. Advent calendar. I looked into buying one, but I decided it would be fun to make it myself. You can use felt for the ornaments, but my family is into Sculpey (a bakable colored clay) so I made the ornaments out of this. On the back of each ornament is a number and a verse that corresponds. I got all of the symbol ideas and verses from an old out of print book called "Family Celebrations: Meeting Christ in your Holidays" by Ann Hibbard. Each night during family devotions, a child will get to be the one to take out the ornament and read the back, then we can read the verse and sing the appropriate Christmas carol and put it on the tree.

2. Advent candles. I bought 4 pillar candles at the dollar tree, one that is different from the others to be the Christ candle that we light on Christmas Eve. We will do a little candle lighting ceremony each Sunday in December with them.

3. Mailbox. I bought a $4.99 wooden mailbox at Michaels Crafts to put goodies and messages in. (It has a wooden flag to put up when there's mail inside!)I will either trade who gets to "get the mail" every morning, or have my 3 year old do the honors of passing out the treats. I bought a variety of fun chocolates from Europe, peppermint taffy etc to vary what is in there each day. Some days I will come up with a fun activity instead like making cookies for neighbors or playing a board game. I'm just going to wing it, but they will hold me to doing it EVERY DAY I'm sure!! I thought I would also encourage them to leave one another gifts and notes in it too.

4. Jesus Stocking. Hang a stocking to collect bills and change throughout the month from every member of the family. Anyone can slip their gifts secretly into the stocking. On Christmas we empty the Jesus stocking and see how much money has been "stocked" away to give to the charity or our families choice. (We love Gospel for Asia's Gift Catalog www.gfa.org for lots of gift ideas for the poor.

6 comments:

Strangfamily said...

Kristi!
You are one amazing woman!! I am so impressed with all that you do... I pray that I could have half of all your energy and ideas!
Love,
Cindy

Kristi Kronz said...

What a wonderful idea Kristi! Thank you for sharing. We are also working harder this year to keep Christ as the focal point in "Christ"mas! Many blessings on you as you purpose to do this with your family as well.
- the other Kristi

Jenne said...

What great and purposeful traditions you have for this time of year. I love the energy and excitement that comes this last week or so of November all the way through the New Year. Thanks for sharing!

Tricia Swift said...

I am totally gonna try to make one! I love it!

Steve said...

Hey Kristi,
Happy Advent, it is Dec. 1 here in Lusaka. I just wanted to let you know that I love your advent calendar. In all your spare time you could make and sell those. :) We had to leave out advent house at home as it was too big. We had to leave most all our Christmas decor at home. :) Too bad I don't sew!! Let me tell you, we are going to learn the real meaning of Christmas this year because at 90 degrees and not much commercialism you aren't really reminded of it as much. We will travel to Livingstone for 4 nights over Christmas. We are looking forward to it! Love you guys and talk about you lots. So glad jayson had such an amazing trip. I loved the "open wounds"...oh my! when is the baby due???

amy in peru said...

I really, really want to know what the verses and carols are!! any chance you could divulge?!

:)

amy in peru