December 6, 2011

Traditions

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
I love reflecting on the traditions I grew up with and learning about Scott's. I think the most fun of all has been combining the two and creating our own for our family.
A few years ago, we were gifted an Advent calendar from my sister and brother-in-law. It's an adorable one with doors the girls open and each day there is a treat, or a family fun adventure, or something crafty...encouraging us to focus on each other during this special season.


This year, I started a Christ centered Advent countdown, and so each day they get a new tab to pull.
For Thanksgiving, my friend, Melissa posted a fun gratitude board to write down what you are thankful for as a family. I loved that idea, so I made one for our family. To celebrate the Advent season, I decided this could also be perfect for what I wanted to do. I simply turned the board around, and voila...my official Advent calendar.




I'm going to catch up here on both calendars and then, hopefully, I'll keep track of each day as we get there.
Day One was enjoy a candy treat...they got mini candy canes.
Day Two was to go to Anna Lee's school for family movie night to see Despicable Me.
Day Three was to build our Gingerbread House! We had our bestie Avery over to decorate hers, as well!




The final product!

Day Four was to go to the forest and get our Christmas tree! We had a fabulous time with the Kimballs and the Pierces trekking out to Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for our tree. Jamie got some great shots of my girls, and here is the tree (naked).





If licking the snow was a sport, Shelby would be a pro. It was her favorite activity of the day. Anna Lee would have continued to sled til the cows came home. Such a fun day!!! Stay tuned for our decorated tree!

For now:


Day Five was to make a craft with Mommy. We made paper chains from this cute little set Grandma gifted us last year!





Day Six was to watch a Christmas movie with treats! We chose Little Women . I love this story, and love watching it with the girls even more! Our treats were candy canes given out by Mrs. Kim at school (thanks, Mrs. Kim), and hot cocoa with marshmallows, and some delicious cookies our friends brought us as a thank you gift!

Now, as for our true Advent Calendar, it follows the Liturgical Season of Advent.
Nov. 28: Light the first candle on your Advent Wreath.
Nov. 29: Write "I love you" notes to your parents and hide them under their pillows. These were INCREDIBLE.
Nov. 30: Offer to set the table for dinner.
Dec. 1: Ask a parent for permission to make popcorn for your family.
Dec. 2: Offer to say grace at mealtime. Suggest your family hold hands around the table while you say it.
Dec. 3: Be nice to someone you don't like a lot.
Dec. 4: Look up at the wonder of the night sky tonight and say thanks to God.
Dec. 5: Light two candles on your Advent Wreath
Dec. 6: Read about Saint Nicholas, whose feast day is today.



When we went out to the forest, we also were able to get a small Jesse Tree for the girls. We have never done this before, but I got the idea from a blog I read regularly. Head over to A Holy Experience, and read Ann's beautiful devotional book. I loved this, but tried the first night, and it was way too far over the girls head, so I opted for this one until they are a bit older. The Scripture is easy to find in their children's Bible, and they LOVE having their own little tree.



Lastly, we have Buddy. Buddy is our Elf on the Shelf. This tradition started in 2009 for us, and THEY LOVE IT. I've recently discovered all sorts of mischevious things Buddy can do, thanks to Pinterest and all of this clever Mom..but, so far, he has just moved from location to location in our house, and that's been enough! Here's Buddy being silly on our mantle waiting for Anna Lee and Shelby to find him in the morning!


Fa La La La La....