Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Preparing our Hearts: Advent Week 1

We have a nifty advent calendar with doors on it. Every year we fill it with activities that we can do together as a family to prepare our hearts for Christmas. Sometimes those activities focus us back to the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Sometimes those activities help us to connect with family and friends. Sometimes those activities remind us to be thankful for what we have and generous to those who are not so fortunate. Sometimes they are about showing love to others. Sometimes those activities are just plain fun. Most of all, these activities force us to slow down, be intentional, and focus on being together.

This truly is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Day 1: Decorate the house for Christmas
Deck the Halls and Fa La La! The boys love having their own special tree.
It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

Day 2: Make Christmas cards & sing carols with our friends at the nursing home.
Joy to the World! We loved sharing this activities with the residents!
Day 3: Hot Cocoa & How the Grinch Stole Christmas
"Maybe Christmas", he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
Our Mean Old Mr. Grinch Crafts
We also helped Grandad decorate his house.
The boys were all about the garland! The blingy-er the better, they said!
Day 4: Birdseed Decorations
trying to string the popcorn & cranberry garland
frustrated that the popcorn breaks...wait...that means we get to eat that piece!
making delicious decorations for the wild animals
Putting our pine cones and garland on Grandad's tree was frigid work!
Looking cute and feeding the wildlife...it's a tough job...
A quick picture before heading inside to warm up!
Day 5: Donate old toys & plan World Vision gift
Feeling good about getting rid of old toys
The boys also planned to use some of their Christmas money to buy 5 ducks, 2 chickens, and 2 soccer balls through the World Vision Gift Catalog. We challenge you to give gifts that can change lives, too!
Day 6: Happy St. Nicholas Day! Watch Veggie Tales St. Nicholas & Give
"I can love because God loved me; I can give because He gave!"
We decided to tip the pizza delivery man an extra large sum as a happy surprise for him when he left our house.
We also made a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child -- national collection day has passed, but it's not too late to give 
Day 7: Choose new ornaments for our trees!

Every year we add ornaments to the tree, and every year we remember as we hang them up. This year the boys picked Raphael, Scooby Doo, and Batman

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