we have yet to decorate for Christmas. since i was sick for thanksgiving, it doesn't feel like it actually happened and i'm kind of in a holiday attention deficit. first off, there's only one month left in this year? why and how??
i am torn. as usual. i want things to be black and white. so when i say i want Christmas to be only about Jesus and what He came into this world to do, i think, heck, why make it so commercial and fancy? after all, Jesus could have come here as a King, could have been born in the finest of places, yet He came as a baby and was born in a barn and laid in an animal trough. so imagine my dilemma. i want Christmas to be an everyday, all year thing, a heart thing, not a decorations thing. but at the same time, it is good to celebrate this, of course, because our King came to rescue us and that is Good News, worth celebrating and throwing the prettiest of parties for. i sit in those two places at once, trying to balance the two.
ultimately, i want hearts to be the focus. i don't want to have glorious Christmas lights up outside and then act like my heart in unchanged behind my walls.
each day in december leading up to Christmas, i plan on intentionally directing my heart and my families to the things of Christ and having lots of fun while at it! without spending much money and without taking too much time for preparation. i spent $22 (it's on sale this week!) on the advent tree below from Target (so i can reuse it every year rather than making my own advent thing that would have to be re-made each year) and $10 on some cute Nativity oriented crafts from Hobby Lobby.
each day there will be a message behind the door that the kids will giddily (i hope!) open. a message will be something special we are doing that day (based on our calendar of events)or a craft the kids can make, or something they can bake, watch on tv or read. here's what some will say:
dec 1: today we celebrate the coming of Jesus by joining in The Journey House ChaCha for Change event.
dec 2: we will decorate our Christmas tree together
dec 3: tonight we will celebrate by going to a Christmas concert and your daddy will be singing and playing!
dec 6: making pinecone trees like these
dec 7: we will make Nativity door hangers
dec 10: movie night! veggie tales christmas
dec 12: we will make (egg free!) christmas cookies
etc, etc. you get the idea.
we will also be following the Jesus Storybook Bible Advent reading plan. (the best book ever written for children. ever ever ever.)
now it's your turn... what do you have going on to prepare for Advent??
ps. look at this gorgeous free printable! go get it now.