Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A New Christmas Countdown Tradition

I don't know about you mamas out there, but trying to find an Advent and Christmas countdown tradition that's feasible, purposeful, and simple enough to do with your preschooler and toddler is downright difficult.

Each Christmas comes around and I scour Pinterest and other blogs (from amazing mamas who have time to do everything it seems with such grace and ease), trying to find that one tradition that would stick. I pinned, I saved Websites, I even printed off various Advent calendar ideas. I even went to Hobby Lobby and stocked up on the pretty Christmas card stock and scrapbooking paper and was bound and determined to make a new tradition last year.

I found the card stock and paper in my Christmas decoration boxes. Mackie now loves drawing and cutting shapes out of the pretty paper - someone might as well get some use out of it!

It's now a new year and a new opportunity to once again share the wonderful love story of Jesus with my babies. And thank the Lord that I stumbled across a new tradition we could all participate in - one that didn't involve lots of creating, crafting, and time (though I really wish I did have the time and craftiness....some day!).

As you all know, our family is a HUGE fan of the Jesus Storybook Bible. Mackie's cousins gave her this amazing Bible her second Christmas a few years ago. She loved the pictures; we loved how it connected Jesus to every.single.story (even OT ones!). We bought another one - this time with the stories on CD for quiet times and nap times - and have bought Brax one, too.

Right before Thanksgiving, JSB posted on its Facebook page an excellent resource and reading plan for the Advent season, starting Dec. 1 and going through Christmas Day, Dec. 25. Each day the kids and I snuggle up on our couch and read the day's story - and then discuss how excited we are to celebrate Jesus's birthday. 

Mackie already has talked about how she can't wait to celebrate Jesus on Christmas Day and is "party planning." So far we're baking Jesus a strawberry cake and going to sing Him Happy Birthday. Braxton talks about the baby and His birthday coming up.

These are just baby steps into a deeper appreciation and love for the great sacrifice He made for us as He sent His precious Son to be born as a humble baby and then die on the cross for our sins 30+ years later. 

It's not all easy peasy, though. I've been mulling through some thoughts and words to share about Santa, the "commercialism" of Christmas, and how Jack and I have balanced out our past family traditions and brought them to our own family of four. Another time, another post! 

Merry Christmas, everyone. May you honor Jesus as you celebrate His incredible birth!

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