Today marks the third Sunday in advent-we get to light the illustrious pink candle of Joy. As we get closer to Christmas, we are able to see each other at the dinner table a little bit easier. To celebrate the Advent season, each year we pull out the Advent wreath that Peris made in 2002 (she was just 3 years old-sniff sniff). It is a block of wood in the shape of a cross that has some evergreen and pinecone accessories crudely glued on. Our first night is the most interesting. We shut off all of the lights except for the one candle that is lit. The first candle represents Hope-we discuss that before Jesus the world was dark which is why with only one candle lit we are eating in the dark. Each year one child reminds us that soon it will "get light" because Jesus is coming. This year on the first Sunday of Advent we took an inexpensive paper craft booklet of the nativity and put it together as a family. It was actually disasterous-but hey, we did it together!!! On the second Sunday of Advent we lit the candle of Peace and talked about how only with Jesus can we find peace. The second purple candle is lit and our dinner table is bathed in a beautiful golden glow-what wonderful mood lighting. I will throw in that the lack of overhead lighting seems to also provide us with a quiter tone at the table-it is lovely. Last Sunday we celebrated with my Mom and made gingerbread houses and then went to a hockey game to watch Uncle Tim play. Tonight will be the third Sunday of Advent and we will light the beautiful pink candle (hey, we are a house of girls here...we all love pink) and talk about the Joy that Christ brings to our lives. Our family activity will be a little craft project and we will make cute, little fuzzy ornaments. Then at 7pm we will be watching HGTV's Holiday Window show (where they show the big store Christmas windows) together-well at least Derek and I will sit down and enjoy the show.
Here are a few other simple ideas that you can do to celebrate the coming of Jesus' birthday together as a family:
*Make ice cream cone trees-take sugar cones and "paint" them with green icing. Attach candy and you have an edible tree.
*Drive around as a family and "ooh" and "ahh" over neighborhood Christmas lights
*Go online and print off a few holiday coloring sheets-get your inner-child groove on and color with the fam
* Purchase a holiday puzzle. Set aside a few minutes each night, or morning, and put the pieces together as a family.
*Gather all of your holiday books together a place them in a basket under the tree. Each night read one story together as a family. You can always add a new book to your stash each year to grow your library.
*Go caroling in your neighborhood. I don't know about you, but our neighbors would LOVE to see us show up at their door and bring this wonderful tradition back to life!!!!
During this busy time of the year make sure you take a few minutes out to spend time focusing on the reason for the season with your children. There are memories to be made!!!