In a season wrought with distraction, I try to keep my heart in check and remember, daily, what Advent really is. It is the day that Love came.
Each has their own opinion on how this should be celebrated; and I've never been shy about my outrageous affinity (obsession?) for the holiday season. Christmas Sarah is a version of me that comes but once a year; and she comes with a fury of excitement and nostalgia, bundled up in a package of brown paper and fancy bows.
Every year, I build an Advent activity calendar for the girls. And I'll admit, it can, in many ways, add pressure to an already too-busy season. But at the heart of the practice are, I hope, right intentions. Every day, I want us to remember Love, whether in spending time together, celebrating beauty, considering others above ourselves, or building a tradition of our own. I think the best reminder of Advent is how Love comes in unexpected ways, and we must look for it everywhere--in rolled up scrolls bearing silly things to do; in a poor baby sleeping in hay amongst cows.
(I do try to share our calendar on Instagram with a #noeladvent hashtag; but I'm not going to hold myself to daily posts. In case you're interested, here is the lineup for this year!
- Build a gingerbread house.
- Go on a tree hunt.
- Deck the halls.
- Movie night: Frosty the Snowman.
- Glitter some pinecones.
- Think of others: Give away toys and clothes.
- Take to the ice downtown.
- Important correspondence to the North Pole.
- Movie night: Polar Express.
- Create Christmas cards for the grandparents.
- Spin the Christmas vinyl and cut some snowflakes.
- Create a reindeer ornament for your tree.
- Think of others: Provide a meal for someone in need.
- Visit with Santa Claus!
- Bake Christmas cookies.
- Annual sleepover at Grandma's (Mom's gotta party!).
- Take in a Christmas show.
- Join with the angels' singing and record a carol.
- Drive to see the lights.
- Think of others: Honor your teachers.
- Deliver candy canes to the neighbors!
- Movie night: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- Read The Night Before Christmas.
- Read The Christmas Story at family Christmas in Golden.