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As parents, it’s so easy to get sucked into the Christmas frenzy.  Just keeping up with all the events, parties, programs, shopping, church activities, much less basic daily life survival like meal prep, grocery shopping and laundry can make us dizzy!  If we’re not careful, the outward trappings of the Christmas season can become what grasps our attention and the inward focus of shaping of our children’s hearts can get lost and forgotten.

I’d like to share some ideas our family has done over the years as part of our Family Christmas Traditions.  These were traditions we started when our 2 older sons were around 4 and 5, and I’ll be honest — we were hit or miss for a few years on the consistency.  In fact, by the time our 3rd son came along a few years later, it was more miss than hit!  BUT-the key is, we had some intentional traditions established, and I didn’t give up — even now when he is 18 and in our home for one last Christmas before he leaves for college next year.  You see, we have one shot at raising our kids – let’s make sure that before they leave home, they know that Jesus is the most important gift we celebrate during this busy, hectic season!

FAMILY ADVENT CALENDAR

I’m not sure where I originally saw this idea, but I decided to make an Advent Calendar with pockets to hold tiny ornaments that the boys would place on our Advent Tree.  I painstakingly cut out the felt for each pocket, used fabric glue, and used a paint tube to write the numbers.  I did give it a refresh with some burlap last year and I’m sure there are updated ideas now on Pinterest to create your own!  The first several ornaments are things like a Christmas tree, a Santa, a snowflake, a wreath, etc.  General items we associate with celebrating Christmas.  As we would remove the item and put it on the tree, it was a great way to have a conversation about the symbolism behind it.  I found most of these in the dollhouse or the ornament section of Hobby Lobby.  The last several days on the calendar, the pockets hold ornaments that represent the Christmas story — a bible, a candle (Jesus bringing light), a star, wise men, shepherd, a cross, etc., and on the 25th, baby Jesus!

Maybe you can use some of these ideas to start your own daily countdowns with a more purposed goal!

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Each pocket holds a small ornament, the 25th holds a baby Jesus!

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