10 Days of Advent: Days Nine & Ten

Merry Christmas! You can check out all the previous Advent activities here. The holiday season has been a lot of fun for our family. We have some great activities planned with friends and family for the days leading up to Christmas.

Go Caroling

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” You may not be a fan of Buddy the Elf, but you can’t beat singing carols to bring out the Christmas spirit. One of our wonderful neighbors planned a progressive dinner to celebrate the season in the neighborhood. We went to the homes of five different families and caroled a little in between. One of the neighbor dads is in a band and helped lead all our little merry-makers in song. The kids absolutely loved it and the neighbors enjoyed hearing our joyful little singers.

Bring the message of Advent home this holiday season. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as a family.

Read the original Christmas story

Amidst all the excitement over presents and Santa, we don’t want to forget the reason we’re celebrating. By reading the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth, it brings the focus back to the miracle of Christmas. We’ve spent the past month immersed in festivity. Now it’s important to remember that Jesus is the true gift. When we go back to the original story, we rekindle the joy of knowing that there’s more to this season than drinking hot chocolate and admiring twinkle lights. Take time to remember why we celebrate at all and what a wonderful gift that is for us.

Bring the message of Advent home this holiday season. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as a family.

I hope you had a truly magical Advent season!

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10 Days of Advent: Day Six

It’s day six of our 10 Days of Advent series! I caught a nasty cold and have been less than productive the past two days. Today’s post will be short and sweet. One of the best parts of the holiday season is all the fun things we get to do as a family. We try to mix in plenty of festivity without feeling like we’re just busy all the time.

Relax with your family with a favorite Christmas movie

Sometimes it’s really nice to slow down and relax as a family. Instead of being out with all the crowds, take a night to appreciate being at home. Warm up some hot chocolate, curl up on the couch, and watch one your favorite family Christmas movies. If you need some suggestions, check out this post for some of our faves. Don’t worry about all the stuff you’ve yet to do. Snuggle with your little ones and enjoy some downtime.

Bring the message of Advent home this holiday season. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as a family.

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10 Days of Advent: Day Four

Welcome back to day four of our ten days of Advent series! Each day I’m sharing a way that you can celebrate Advent as a family to help reinforce the true meaning of Christmas. If you missed a day, check out day one, day two and day three. I love sharing holiday traditions with my little ones, but I don’t want them to forget that the real reason for all the festivity is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Reach out to someone feeling lonely this season

So much of the holidays is about togetherness. We spend extra time with our families, travel long distances to visit, and cook special meals together. There are holiday parties to attend with friends, coworkers, or classmates. We exchange gifts and Christmas cards. One of the best parts of this season is being with those we care about, but for some people, the holidays can be a very lonely time. Someone who doesn’t have a family, who isn’t able to be with their family, or who has recently lost a loved one would see the Christmas season very differently.

Bring the message of Advent home this holiday season. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as a family.

Today, make an effort to reach out to someone who might be feeling lonely this holiday season. It could be an extended family member, a friend or a neighbor. Write a letter or a card reminding that person that someone cares about them. You could even write it anonymously. Showing someone that they are not alone can be such a gift, especially during the holidays when there’s so much emphasis on being with others. We all feel lonely sometimes, and the simple act of a friend reaching out can make all the difference.

You don’t have to write a long letter or write anything in particular. A card saying “Merry Christmas from your neighbor,” could make a huge impact on someone’s day. Often it’s not the grand gestures, but the little things that can mean the most. A reminder that someone notices and cares about them could be just what that person needs to hear today!

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10 Days of Advent: Day Three

I’m having a hard time believing that we only have 8 more days until Christmas!! My kids’ last day of school was today, which means we have 17 days of vacation ahead of us. When both kids are home all day, the mess can accumulate very quickly. There are more meals eaten at home and there are toys being pulled out all day long, not to mention friends coming over to play and extra family members visiting. It’s a good time for kids to pick up some extra chores!

Bring the message of Advent home this holiday season. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as a family.

It can get really frustrating to feel like I’m picking up after my kiddos all day every day. During this break, I’ll be implementing a mini schedule to help everyone stay on top of the mess. It’s wonderful when the kids pitch in and do their chores, but it’s heavenly when they do a job without being asked. Does it still count if they get reminded to make the effort to do this first thing in the morning? Heck, yes!

Do a chore without being asked

I’m a mom of two young children so I’m used to delegating. I am totally comfortable telling them what to do and giving them tasks to complete. I do it all day, every day. So it’s such a nice treat for one of them to do something like pick up their room or clean up their dishes without being told. They’re young so it doesn’t happen very often, but part of my job as their mother is making sure they grow up into people who do things for other people just because. It’s one thing to offer (which is nice) but it’s even better to just get the job done so that someone else doesn’t have to do it. It’s an act of kindness and generosity that rarely goes unnoticed.

You can find the first day of advent ideas here and day two here. I hope you’re enjoying my suggestions for celebrating Advent as a family!

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10 Days of Advent: Day Two

Welcome to day two of our ten days of celebrating Advent! If you missed the first post, you can find it here. Our family enjoys a lot of holiday traditions this time of year. We read our favorite Christmas books. We watch some of our favorite Christmas movies. We choose a tree and have fun pulling out all our ornaments to decorate it. Another tradition for our family is filling a box with all the toys and books our kids no longer need or want to donate to charity.

Bring the message of Advent home this holiday season. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as a family.

Donate toys and books to charity

Each year on December 1st, our elf arrives with a letter from Santa. The letter instructs the kids to fill a box with toys and books that they no longer use to share with children who don’t have as much as they do. It helps our kids to understand how fortunate they are and allows them to extend generosity to others. We explain that one of the ways that we show God’s love to others is by sharing with those who have less. We also use the experience as a springboard to talk about being thankful.

Donating old toys and books made not seem like it has much to do with Advent, but it’s a simple way to show how important it is to care for others like Jesus did. When we do these small acts of generosity, we take the emphasis off ourselves and put it on other people. It teaches our kids to focus on something more than what might be under the tree on Christmas morning.

How do you help your family to focus on caring for others during the holidays?

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