Monday, December 02, 2013

It's Advent Time!!!! {Chrsitmas Traditions, part 1}

I can't begin to describe the excitement that mounted as I was preparing for our family's celebration of Advent.  Seriously, I was just giddy!  It might have been that I got organized this year and had everything prepped before hand.  But, I think it mostly had to do with the fact that I absolutely LOVE the Christmas season.  
This year, I searched the pins on Pinterest for a fun way to display our advent calendar.  I wanted to make it appealing to the eye, but also bring some anticipation into the upcoming 24 days.  My first idea flopped, but I'm glad that it flopped because this happened (paper lunch bags are super cheap!).  We are on our third year of Truth in the Tinsel and really love it.  The paper bags were a super easy way to keep all my supplies together in one spot as well as add some decorations on my walls.  I'm not sure what I will do when I figure out what to hang above my dining room buffet, but for not this works great!
Inside each bag, I put a small chocolate for each of the boys, a clue card, and a ziplock with the ornament pieces that go with the theme for the day.  For example, yesterday was Jesus is the Light of the World, so the clue card had a candle on it, and the ornament template, tissue paper, and contact paper were put in the bag.  When we are done with our ornaments, they go on our little advent tree for display.
I love that the boys loved looking at their ornaments through the lights.  It was great!  We really enjoy the Truth in the Tinsel ebook. (obviously since we have been doing it for 3 years!).  Ethan is really into it this year.  Weston paid attention here and there, and may or may not have ran laps around the room while we did this (he was excited!).  Night 2 went way better.  I don't plan every night to be a labor intensive craft, like the ones above.  Partly, because my boys are almost 3 and 5 and some of the ornaments are more difficult.  Last year, they added printable ornaments that you can just color.  That took off a lot of the stress.  I do adapt some of ornaments to fit the ability of my boys.  But, we only do 2-3 crafty ones and the rest are printables that they will just cut out and color.  Sometimes, we may add extras to them, like on the day we do the sheep, they will color the printable ornament and then, we will glue pieces of cotton balls to make him fluffier.  

Weston had a blast painting the toilet paper tube for his crown.  We will be finishing this one up tomorrow.  If you'd like to follow us on instagram, you can see our journey through the advent.  My username is jolieklassen, come follow me.  (that just sounds weird. . . ).  
  If you are wondering if it is too late to start Truth in the Tinsel. . . it's not!  There's a plan for doing 10 days or you can just jump in and start where you want.  Don't let starting late hold you back from sharing advent with your family.  

Another really cool tradition is we give the boys 1 gift to share to kick off our advent season.  (sorry about the crooked picture. . . I want to get to bed).  This year, we gave them the book Santa are you for Real? by Harold Myra.  It is a cute story that talks about the real Santa Claus.  We strive to Christmas focused on Christ as much as possible, and so we don't really do the whole Santa thing.   I can't wait to share with you all about what we do instead of Elf on the Shelf!  Stay tuned!

Do you do Advent?  What are some of your family Christmas traditions?

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