I am trying not to have pet peeves during the Christmas season.
But if I wasn’t trying, this “Advent” calendar would be one of them:
Advent is a Christian season and Christians do not countdown to Santa. These things that call themselves Advent calendars and don’t have a Baby Jesus on them anywhere bug me.
But that’s only half the peeve. While you can walk into any store and find an “Advent” calendar like this, it’s next to impossible to find one with a Baby Jesus on it off the shelf. Which may make some well-intentioned but very busy and stressed out Christian mamas throw their hands up in defeat and go about their Christmas shopping.
(And who would blame them? Not me, over here with the Santa sitting next to the manger scene.)
Since one of our goals at Full of Graces is to make life easier for moms in all shapes and sizes, it’s kind of been my tradition to gather Advent happenings and pass them on. So here’s the 2nd Annual Advent Post.
For a list of Advent internet resources, here’s last year’s post A Time of Sacred Leisure.
Then check out what some of our friends and guest bloggers do:
Amy has an Advent wreath on her dinner table. Every night, her girls (5 and 7) light the candles when they sit down to eat.
My friend Steffani started doing a Jesse Tree countdown a few years back. Her kids (they range in age from 23 to 4) made all the symbol ornaments and each one had a good deed. Every morning they gather round, learn about the biblical significance of the ornament and the good deed for the day. Last year she purchased a video at www.holyheroes.com that her kids watch every day.
(Holy Heroes is a pretty cool website for kids, too.)
Both my cousin Lesley and our guest blogger friend Jennifer directed me to Adriel Booker’s site. Adriel is an Australian Christian blogger with a list of 150 Advent activities for families and a Storybook Bible Study for Advent.
Lesley turned the list of 150 things into her version of a countdown for her kids (ages 8, 6 and 3). Each stocking has an act of kindness and an Advent reflection.
(Do you know the MOB Society??? It’s an online community for Mothers Of Boys! Their mission: To help moms delight in the chaos of raising boys and shape a generation of men to love the Lord.)
Four Thanksgivings ago, I came across this Advent calendar in a Charleston gift shop.
Every morning yields a new magnet. There are strict rules around the order and the placement of the magnets—no one can move someone else’s magnet. Last year this resulted in Flying Mary and Grounded Angel.
In addition, we go see Santa, watch Christmas specials and decorate our homes the minute the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone. Tis is a season of joy, after all.
But we work really hard to make sure it’s faithful joy and we try to stay peaceful, reflective and focused on preparing the way.