Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Day One

I am so excited about Advent this year and IT IS HERE!  Ava, especially, is getting old enough to really grasp the meaning of Advent, the importance of this season of celebration.  She understands Jesus is our Savior and that adds such a miracle to the expectation of his birthday celebration.

Since Ava was onc, we have been doing The Advent Book.  We love it.  It tells the Christmas story, little by little, every day you open a different door, until on Christmas you read the entire story. It is a beautiful book and to this day the best gift we have received since getting married.

Ava was having a hard time waiting to open door one while I snapped the picture;) (On a side note, because of this picture and Chloe's chocolate smile, I noticed she had chocolate.  I had no idea where it came from and on further inspection, I found she was eating the wrapper and all of a mini Reese cup....she had pillaged from Ava's school bag!)

There are so many good ideas for Advent, but I really liked my friend Summars way of making each day, each aspect of the season a mini celebration.  I have planned a little something special for every day.  Some are just things we would do anyway, but focusing on doing them on a certain day adds to the excitement.  We have purposefully finished all our shopping and kept the month as free as possible, so we can focus on Jesus and setting our children's sights on Him.

Day One reads:

It’s Advent!  Advent Means “the coming that is awaited”.  The Jewish People waited a long time for their Savior to come.  Jesus was born on Christmas and their waiting was over!  Their Savior had arrived!!!  On Christmas we celebrate Jesus birthday, and as WE wait for that special day, we can remember what it was like to wait for him the first time.  Today is the FIRST Day of Advent.  Every day will we do something special in anticipation of the arrival of Jesus’ Birthday.  Today we get out the nativity set and we will alsoset out a special "manger."  All month when Mommy or Papa catches you doing something that honors God, we’ll give you straw to put in the manger.  The straw is a symbol of preparing our hearts for God.  When you honor Jesus with a good and loving heart that reflects him, you are showing a heart that honors him and you will get straw to put in the manger.

Our Little People Nativity set only comes out in the month of December.  They were thrilled to play with it again.  I wish I could have captured the best part...Ava clearly articulated the Christmas story to her siblings.  My heart melted when she said, "The angel told Mary to name him Emmanuel.  That means 'God with us'"(This is a rare moment when all three of my children are happily playing with the same item.  I do believe this alone could be my Christmas gift this year;)

Putting their hay in our manger. 

Day ones hay....not a great start and quite honestly, I was hard pressed to find positive moments in order to get this meager amount.  Their heart conditions weren't great for most of today.  I am excited about this visual reminder for my kids to be on the lookout for making sure their hearts are honoring Christ and therefore their actions are, as well.  (I cannot wait until they open Baby Jesus Christmas morning and lie him in the bed they have prepared for him!)

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