Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Countdown - Christmas Blog Post Swap #1

For the weeks leading up to Christmas, Hannah, Rachel, Shelley, and I are doing a Christmas Blog Post Swap!

Today, I am excited to have Hannah guest posting!  Hannah is a wife, mom, Compassion sponsor, and Christ-follower.  She blogs at Because of Shamim

Christmas Traditions: Advent

I have many fond memories of Christmas traditions that my family had while I was a kid and thought that I'd share them over this Christmas series! Not only will this allow me to reminisce over my childhood, but it will help me to think through what I would like my kids to experience as traditions! The first tradition that I'd like to share is our tradition of celebrating Advent.

We loved lighting the advent candles in the wreath and that the candles represented different themes of Christmas. My family would set aside time each evening to sing Christmas carols and read a part of the Christmas story. Then we would take turns snuffing the candles. When I was in high-school, my sister and I created Christmas carol song books…one for each family member! I love the old carols…they have such beautiful poetry!

When we were younger, my mom had an advent calendar with pockets for small gifts. One year she put clay in each one and my siblings and I each took a turn opening the clay and making a nativity scene figure. I think I opened the donkey and Mary! Although my son is only 1.5 years old, I am hoping to start this tradition for him this year! My mom gave him a small nativity calendar with pockets and a cloth nativity figure in each pocket! I think I might also put a sticker in each pocket since he's big into stickers.

My family also enjoyed reading fun advent stories. Have you ever heard of the stories Jotham's Journey, Bartholomew's Passage, and Tabitha's Travels by Arnold Yteeide? These are fun family stories about children who have adventures and whose adventures lead to the child being present right after the birth of Christ. The first story is Jotham's Journey and Jotham turns out to be a distant relative of the Christ child. These stories are fun and exciting for school-age children!

I look forward to incorporating more and more advent themed activities with my children as they get older! And I enjoyed writing to my Compassion kids about our advent tradition of the wreath, singing songs and reading the Christmas story. I shared what each candle stood for and asked our Compassion kids if they had Christmas count-down traditions that helped them remember that Christmas was about Christ's birth!

Do you have any advent traditions?
Hop on over to  Because of Shamim to read my Christmas post (Because of Shamim: Christmas Series), and then spend some time checking out Hannah's blog :)

1 comment:

  1. This was such a great idea, Lizzie! And Hannah, what a wonderful post! Memories and traditions are so much fun to share and talk about.