Monday, November 24, 2008

December: Planned and Purposeful

I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet. I'll get back to Thanksgiving tomorrow. I just wanted to put this post up in case some of you wanted to do something similar. With Thanksgiving being so close to December this year, I thought I should give you some time to plan.

Every year it seems that we anticipate the Christmas season and then it is gone before we know it. We meant to take the girls to the live nativity. We meant to read those scriptures as a family. We meant to make cookies together. We meant to do that Advent wreath. We meant to make it more about Jesus. But somehow we didn't.

I decided this year to plan ahead to make sure that our Christmas is purposeful. To make sure that December doesn't come and go and we've lost focus again. This year, I have a plan to stay focused.

We used to do the Advent Calendar that you hang on the wall and open a door for each day. The girls loved it, but I felt like something was missing. So, I decided to make it more than an Advent Calendar, but an interactive Christmas where we spend time worshipping and celebrating together. I put together a list of all the things we want to do together and then "planned" my December. Here's what we're doing.

My mother got us one of these. I'm not sure exactly what it looks like, because she is bringing it up on Thanksgiving. Anyway, there are tons of different kinds (even a church). I love that we can use this year after year.


We also have a Nativity Set. In each box of the calendar, there will be a clue to find a present somewhere in the house. The present will include one piece of the nativity set, a scripture from the Christmas Story, a Christmas book, and a card explaining an activity that we are going to do that day, and the name of a family member or friend. (Don't worry, I'm making them one day at a time so the girls don't find them ahead of time. Don't ask why I know to do it that way.)


Each day, we will start with our Calendar. Find the present. Put the nativity piece in the set. Read the scripture verse. Pray for the family member. Read a Christmas book. Then, we will do our activity sometime during the day. Of course, the final nativity piece will be Jesus, which they will unwrap and add to the nativity set on Christmas Morning before we open any presents to ourselves.


I'll be doing a post about the books we will read later, but here are the activities we will be doing. I hope to do some more research this year and have a better idea of events that happen in our local community next year!



November 30
ADVENT WREATH AND SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS WITH DADDY ON GUITAR
DECORATE HOUSE-PUT UP TREES AND STOCKINGS
ORDER PIZZA AND WATCH IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

December


1 --START ADVENT CALENDAR/FAMILY GAME NIGHT
2 --CHRISTMAS TREASURE HUNT
3 --MAKE CARDS FOR GRANDMA AND PAPA AND GREAT-GRANDMA JENNY
4 --GO TO LIBRARY FOR CHRISTMAS BOOKS
5 --BAKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES
6 --WATCH ELF
7 --ADVENT WREATH/A NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM (Children's event at church)
8 --FAMILY GAME NIGHT
9 --MAKE TREATS FOR NEIGHBORS AND DELIVER
10 --MAKE CARDS FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDAD
11 --HOT CHOCOLATE AND CANDY CANES FOR DESSERT
12 --MAKE TREATS FOR CHURCH STAFF AND DELIVER/VISIT LIVE NATIVITY
13 --WATCH HOME ALONE
14 --ADVENT WREATH AND SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS
15 --SHOP FOR MOMMY/FAMILY GAME NIGHT
16 --SHOP FOR DADDY AND WRAP PRESENTS
17 --GO OUT TO BREAKFAST
18 --BAKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES
19 --CHRISTMAS TEA PARTY!
20 --WATCH A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
21 --ADVENT WREATH AND SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS
22 --DINNER OUT/DRIVE THROUGH CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
23 --CANDLELIGHT DINNER AND CHRISTMAS CAROLS
24 --ADVENT WREATH/OPEN ONE PRESENT (PAJAMAS) AND READ LUKE STORY
25 --SPECIAL BREAKFAST WITH HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS PARTY


That's what our activities will be. I'll be putting up a post about the books we will read later. I hope you will have a planned and purposeful December as well.


What special things do you have planned to do with your family this year? I'd love to hear them!

4 comments:

MamaHenClucks said...

I love your list and I love that you have one thing each day that you are being purposeful about. I just might be copying that.

We do our advent wreath by candlelight and have dinner, reading a portion of the christmas story each time. We also watch the Grinch, Charlie Brown and Rudolph and bake cookies/fudge, make ornaments for the trees and cards for the grandparents. But none if it is really scheduled, just whenever. I think I'll be making a list! LOVE IT!

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

I was happy to see you'll be watching Elf. It is definitely on the top of my list of favourite movies - hilarious!

So, do you have 25 pieces to your nativity set?

Hope said...

Tyler-I must say that the husband sold me on Elf a few years ago. I was skeptical because we don't do Santa around here. The girls just think that it is hilarious though and don't even really ask about Santa. I think they are starting to understand movie vs. reality. We love holiday movies around here!

About the nativity set, no it does not have 25 pieces. We're just adding some extra sheep and angels and animals to make up for it or just leaving out a few days if necessary.

Meghan said...

Yay! I love reading what you have planned for your December! We're doing many similar things - it's been really exciting to think about and plan out our own December. I love that Iris is at the perfect age to participate this year which adds to the fun of the season!