Traditions are one of the most important gifts we can give to our children. One thing that became important to me when I had kids was making family traditions with them. I don't know why it was important to me, I didn't really grow up in a family with many traditions of our own. In fact, the only tradition we had was going to the movies on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. I just desperately wanted my children to have full memories of our time together as a family. I want them to tell their children and grand children about us, I want to somehow knit our family into the fabric of our future lineage. I want my children to love the things we did as a family so much that they want to do the same with their own families someday. I selfishly want to be that family member that is talked about for generations. So in an effort to inspire our kids, to teach them that there is so much more to Christmas than just getting gifts, we started our newest tradition, the Advent. Here it is!
Like I said in my recent post, I have been looking into the Advent for a couple of years now. Trying to figure out how I wanted to do it. My hubby and I decided last year we wanted to build a house for the kids when we couldn't really find one we liked. Plus building for us is an act of love. To put the time and energy into making something just for them. I make a homemade birthday cake for them every year, and it's the only tradition I'm adamant about, so I guess making them a homemade Advent house is pretty typical for me. Also typical for me is going a little bit over board! Here's the proof...
Trying to decide what to do for our Advent activities was the hardest part! My problem is seeing all of the wonderful ideas other people do with their families and I want to do it ALL. So I decided that I would do it all...at least a little bit of everything. My heart's desire is for my children to be well-rounded in all areas of their lives and that includes the holidays. I want them to have fun, but to know that the meaning of Christmas is not about what presents they receive but is instead about the ultimate gift. I want them to know that we cannot afford to get them everything they want, but that the amount of money we spend is not a reflection of how blessed you are or how much you are loved. And, finally, I want them to understand that compared to many others just how blessed we really are. That compared to society's standards we may be lacking, but compared to the world's standards our lives are overflowing with great abundance. But I don't want them to learn these things from a lecture, I want them to learn these things through example, through action, through seeing it first-hand. So that's why I decided to combine the 3 ways to reinvent the Advent (the fun of arts and crafts, the art of learning to serve, and learning the true meaning of Christmas) into one. Each day when they open the door they will see a little gift. A tiny ornament for their own little tree. On the door is also a note with something for us to do that day. It will either be a Bible verse to talk about the true meaning of Christmas, a craft for us to do that day, or a way for us to serve others. Just a little something that they can learn from and, most importantly, that we can do together!
The excitement about our Advent is already building! My 3 year old told me that he is going to sit here until his daddy comes home and we can do our house. I am so excited about getting my children excited about anything, but especially about spending some quality time with family. I know that all too soon they will rather spend their time with influences other that us, and when the time comes I want these little things to be ingrained into their hearts and minds. What are some traditons you enjoyed growing up? Even something as simple as my family's movie night. What are some traditions that you are beginning with your own family and hope your children love enough to carry on?