Our boys are small, but we are starting some Christmas traditions. I realized this year I need to be more purposeful in them. I have lots of things I like to do, but they have always been "when we get to doing them". Christmas pjs are purchased, but I don't have a certain time I give them out. Our Christmas gingerbread village is bought, but we have not set aside the actual time to make them. As I follow other friend's blogs (Lori & Keri so far), I feel bad that I don't have these things nailed down. We have done our tree (accompanied by Mariah on the iPod), gone shopping individually at Dollar Tree for Daddy and brothers, wrapped Daddy's presents... I think that is it so far. I just want to have a more "set" time and order to what we do. The boys would enjoy it too, knowing what and when to expect the next fun thing!
This year I decided I need to be more purposeful. I think this has to do a lot with the boys age. They ask a lot more questions, they soak it all in. Above all else I want them to understand the birth of Jesus is the reason for this season.
Don't get me wrong, I totally LOVE Christmas and all that comes with the season. I love the lights, trees, purchasing gifts, music, the movies, etc. I just need to help guide my children for the actual purpose of Christmas through the midst of all the other activities.
One way I help them to focus on others is to shop for their brothers and find something their brothers will like. They don't get anything for themselves. They enjoy, and don't like it all at the same time :) "I don't want my brothers to have candy if I don't get candy - it's not fair."
Another thing we started this year is a Jesse tree. I had never heard of it before until we talked about it at MOPs. It's an advent project of devotions and ornaments that you do with your kids every day in December until Christmas. At MOPs last month we created the ornaments. Actually, we each brought twenty of the same ornament that we created. Then we exchanged with everyone else for the ones they made.
While you are "supposed" to add an ornament every day, we have changed that up since we have three and it's hard for them not to be upset that it's not "their" day. So I put all the ornaments up and we do an "I spy" to find the ornament we are talking about that day.
So far it seems to be going well! I will admit that we started a couple days late, so we have been doubling up. The boys have enjoyed it and so have I!
We use the devotional for our Jesse Tree Advent. You also can print off ornaments to work on them yourselves!
What do you do that helps your family be purposeful for Jesus this season?
our black 4 ft Jesse Tree full of ornaments
(yes, black. I enjoy things that are "different")