Since the first Sunday of Advent is right after Thanksgiving, I thought I'd post some ideas I have swirling around in my head for Advent festivities.
First off we have a wonderful Advent calendar that we've used for several years now and the kids enjoy it more and more as they get older. It's the Fontanini Wooden Advent Calendar. It's a little pricey but it is really nice quality and with five little children, it's saying something that we've had it for several years. This is not really one for them to play with and touch a lot, but we just have the kids take turns every night putting a piece on.
We also have a beautiful (gorgeous!) advent calendar made by my mother-in-law. I'll take a picture of it when I get it out and post it. She made them for each of her kids a few Christmases ago and it is really special and nice. Maybe you can talk her into making you one. :-) With this one, the kids turn over a piece of the calendar every day like the other one.
It's kind of nice to have two because it gives the kids more chances to participate.
I was looking through the Garnet Hill catalog this year and found this sweet advent calendar. I decided that I could make one like it myself for about half that price. So I ordered everything and am all set to make it. I'll keep you posted on how it goes and take pictures. The buckets are so tiny and cute and I'll think they'll be fun to put candy in for each day. We always give a little piece of candy or treat after we do our advent reading and turn our calendars every evening.
Now that this post has gotten a little long, I'll save the important parts about advent for my next post. It does deserve its own post. How do you convey the real meaning of Christmas to your kids? How do you get them to anticipate Christ's birth with excitment and wonder without making it all about the presents? Well, we haven't perfected this by any means, but I'll write about some things that we do to make it meaningful and keep the focus on Christ.