Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent Celebrations!

Over the past few weeks, I have had the wonderful opportunity to experience Advent at it's fullness. What is Advent, you ask? It's the season on the "Christian calendar" that leads to Christmas down - like a countdown. The actual definition of the word means "the coming or arrival." It is suppose to focus everyone one the true meaning of Christmas - Christ. He is coming, and we are to prepare the way for him through service and coming together as a family and community. We are to turn our hearts toward being more Christ-like. I love this thought and how embedded the celebration leading to the celebration is within German culture.

Virtually, every home has a wreath with four candles surrounding it to represent the four Sundays leading up the Christmas. Each week a different candle is lit, and families spend time singing religious Christmas songs, reading scriptures, or some other religious activity to prep everyone for Christmas. It's beautiful, and simple. I plan to start this tradition in my own home someday.

Along with the wreath, there is the Advent calendar. The Advent calendar is a countdown starting on the 1st of December and going until Christmas day. Each day, the children (or adults :P) open one "box" on the calendar and find a small treat and an activity to complete for the day that is Christmas related. I was given the responsibility and opportunity to create the activities for the Merl Family's Christmas calendar. I put little candies in each day's calendar pouch and then came up with activities like coloring Christmas cartoons, reading a Christmas story while snuggled together under a huge blanket, building a snow man, going ice skating, reading the story of Jesus's birth in the bible, or giving away some of the boy's old toys to children in need. It has been fun to complete each task with the boys and watch them get excited each day to open a new calendar pouch... I love it.

These are pictures of some of the activities we have done together. I had Nico help me make and bake sugar cookies and then Finn helped us decorate them that evening. After the boys went to bed, there was still TONS of dough left, so I stayed up to bake the rest and decorate some more of them... The boys ate most of theirs - or we gave them to neighbors before I got too many pictures, but I snagged a few decent shots. Haha! We had a ton of fun, and I made over 200 cookies. DANG.

Nico even took the time to make a cooking video (below) that was one of the cutest things EVER! He asked to make more movies for the rest of the day, and of course, I said yes. I kinda love the Arts. However, not as much as I love, Nico. Haha!
video

Favorite Quote?: "Like the three wise-men with Jesus... but we're not talking about Jesus now." HAHA!

On
e day, we played a game called "Pin the the Frosty" (above), where Finn and I drew a giant snowman and they had to try and get the carrot nose on him in the right place while blindfolded.... So, basically, "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," but with a snowman... and a carrot. Haha! The boys have loved this activity and want to play again and again - I need to laminate it and then they can have it for next year. We also made really cute bottle-cap snowman ornaments! I got the idea off of a crafting-blog, adapted it a bit and they turned out really cute - below are the original batch we made! Nico's is on the left, Finn's is on the right, and mine is in the middle. I made another batch the next day and they're even better because I found better paint to do the white with - super, high-gloss nail polish. Haha!

Another day, one of the first days, Nico and I made a giant paper-chain to countdown the days til' Christmas. I know the calendar already kind of does that, but it's MY tradition, so I wanted to pass it along. Nico had a lot of fun doing it too... It was simple, but perfect. I'm learning that sometimes, less really is more.



We spent one evening cutting out a bunch of paper snowflakes and then "made it snow in the house," by taping them all over the windows. I wanted to hang them from the ceiling, but I didn't have the ability to do that and not ruin the paint-job. Finn, chose to make a much of "snow-monster faces," and then rip them in half to be his snowflakes. I was all about a little creativity... Haha! Plus, the roaring noise he would make for each "monster" was pretty classic. I love this kid. I learned how to make the really cool star-flowers (above - first pic) too! I had never made those before, but I wanna get better at it... I love how cute they are.
I am in no rush to start a family of my own just yet (which is good as I'm still a young, single woman), but I am excited to one day have the chance to create and start my own traditions for each holiday and special occasion... and the celebration of Advent is definitely one that I want to carry on with my own family.

Oh, and just to add these AMAZING pictures... I have gotten to put the boys to bed lots of times the past few weeks... and they got a little funny the other night. Okay, they got REALLY funny. They created, nerd wear. CLASSIC.


Man, these boys just make my day.
*muah*


Song of the Day: I am completely diggin' on Madcon right now - he's got some tight beats and vocals, and his music is just fun. I found this song today and a video of all these European countries creating a "flash mob" dance to this song during Eurovision. Here is Madcon with Glow. Enjoy!

1 comment:

MKS said...

you will be the BEST mom! you have done so many fun things with the boys. they will never forget you i'm sure :)