Never mind my decorations are still in the attic, Christmas is my favorite. I love the
cold not-quite-so-hot weather, the daily dose of Christmas cards in the snail-mail, the Salvation Army Santas ringing their bells, the lights adorning houses for a little bit too long. People just seem more joyful. “Christmas Spirit” is not a myth.
But the older I get (and the more children I have), the more tension I feel at Christmastime. How do I create Christmas traditions that are less about trees and stockings and gifts and more about a miracle in a manger? How do I strike a balance between nauseating consumerism and fun-sucking religion?
In a season that so easily overwhelms, how can I slow down, lower my expectations, and point to the manifestation of Grace and Love in a way that both excites my kids and blesses others?
Honestly, the answers to these questions are a work in progress. But one thing we started doing last year (halfway through December — holla) was an Advent Calendar.
When I decided to do a calendar last year, I searched a while for printables but never really found one that a) I loved and b) was not beyond my abilities/craftiness/desired effort level. Either the activities were a little intense for my liking (too much baking if I’m being honest) or the content seemed a little empty. I ended up taking what I liked from several different places and fusing together my own. My goal was to create something simple and low-prep, yet thoughtful and meaningful.
I figured since I hadn’t found one out there I liked, I’d make mine accessible to others who were looking for the same things.
To give you an idea of what’s inside, here are the intro and a couple of sample pages:
I channeled my Elementary Education degree hard-core for this. I considered different learning types, incorporated different styles of questions, and included daily activities that tie into the day’s verse. It made me a little sad but a lot thankful I haven’t had to lesson-plan for four years.
Within these pages, I pray you will be filled with the kind of joy only found through sacrifice, gratitude, and Jesus. I would LOVE to have a whole group of y’all keeping me accountable everyday of December. I need accountability partners for every activity in my life. Some of the questions are sure to elicit some hilarious responses from your children, and I hope you will do us all a service and share your quotes.
If you’re interested, scroll down and find the Opt-In box at the bottom of this post. Just enter your name and email address, and you’ll be sent the link to download the calendar.
Sending you all hugs, kisses, and a lot of good sleep this Christmas season! Happy Adventing!