I truly desire my children to grasp the real meaning of Christmas, but every year it is a struggle to bring all our festivities and bustlings to the foot of the cross. We don't pretend there's a Santa Claus, though our kids know other people do and we do fill stockings with small gifts for the fun of it. We don't focus on gifts, though we do give gifts. We try to reach out to our neighbors with a small homemade gift and some sort of book or poem or tract about Christ. But I can't help but wonder if the preciousness of God becoming man and dwelling among us is lost on them? Is it drowned out by the glitz and noise of everything else? I hope and pray not.
Try to ignore the messy homeschool corner!
One of the ways we attempt to focus on Jesus is to try to celebrate Advent every year, and some years we're more successful at it than others. For the last couple years, I have been wanting to lay out the scripture readings, crafts, recipes, songs and such so that we don't have to reinvent the wheel every year, so to speak, but that hasn't happened yet.
Hubby laid out the daily scripture reading this year, and last night the kids and I made a paper chain to not only count down the days till we celebrate the birth of Christ but also to focus each night's prayers on a specific family, friend or neighbor. Before we glued the strips together to form the chain, we wrote on each strip the names of people to pray for. So each evening when we tear off a link, we will pray for that person or persons.
Do you celebrate Advent? If so, do you have any special books or activities you do for it? I'm always open to new ideas!