Friday, November 19, 2010

The Adventure of Advent...

It seems that even before the turkey is carved and everyone's stuffed full of stuffing that minds are pondering, "... okay, in 15 minutes this one is done and over with. Thanksgiving is then out of the way -- let's bring on CHRISTMAS!"

But, whoa, wait a minute! What about THANKSGIVING?! It's an entire day devoted to being, well, thankful. Not just in the moments before grace is said prior to the meal. Why the rush? What's the hurry?

We all seem to look forward to Halloween because it's the start of the fall but then Thanksgiving is so... rushed through and for that matter, almost looked over simply because of all commercialism of Christmas. You know what I'm talking about, the Black Friday ads, sales notices that have already been inundating our e-mail boxes for weeks. We're getting a small forest of catalogs in the mailbox and yes, they've even begun playing Christmas music on the radio. We are ALL WELL AWARE that Christmas is around the corner but seriously, let's just take time to relish and cherish the season and the moment that we're in! Don't be so quick to move on and forget those all-so-important details... for it's in those little details that real memories are made.

However, in a quest to indeed make those little moments more meaningful in my own home, I'm currently planning our advent ADVENTure for the month of December.

I'll share with you in the next few days my Thanksgiving plans (since I know you already have your own)... but in the here and now, since I am a planner (and, more importantly) my boys are currently not in the house and I have a chance TO plan, I AM planning part of my Christmas right now. Not because I can't wait for it to be here but because I want the meaning and reason of the season... and all the beauty it entails to fill my children's hearts and minds this year. For instance, one thing we're doing this year is an advent calendar.

An advent calendar? you ask?

Yeah, an advent calendar.

I see the raised brow and the pursed lips. Yeah, yeah, I've done the other kind of advent calendars before, too. The ones that are $1.99, come in a cardboard box and are filled with little pieces of chocolate behind printed numbers.

This year, we're not even going to touch that, those are for the birds. This year is different. This year we're going to have a deeper meaning and appreciation for not only the Christmas spirit but the celebration of the every day.

There are several things we're going to do on our advent... it's going to be an ADVENTure!

The advent calendar itself I'm still figuring out and will make that tomorrow as I need to time the activities with the boys' schedules at school. I can't have labor intensive activities on school nights or nights when we are planning to be gone. So, I've printed out my December calendar (the first step in any holiday planning) and am figuring out what works best for what day each day of December up to Christmas day. I'll include my list once I get it finalized tonight.

Another thing I'm including as part of our advent is the book adventure. I'm going to pick 25 Christmas books and we are going to read at least ONE Christmas book each day on the way to Christmas. I'm going to go grab the books off the shelf this weekend and create little envelopes of the days. This will be strung up on the wall upstairs and these will be our bedtime stories for the month of December. We will take time to read them and really talk about them.. maybe even do some crafts the following day based on them. But this year, the adventure of advent will include books.

During the month of December, I'm also going to do movie nights on Friday AND Saturday -- heck, I may even throw in a Wednesday there too! I love Christmas movies. So our Christmas ADVENTure will include movies.... all kinds of movies... like:
    • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
    • A Charlie Brown Christmas
    • How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey Version)
    • How The Grinch Stole Christmas (original version)
    • Home Alone
    • Santa Claus the Movie (with Dudley Moore)
    • Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
    • Holiday Inn (I love old classics!)
    • The Polar Express (this was an instant classic for me)
    • A Christmas Carol (the 1938 or the 1951 version, I haven't seen the new
      one to know if it's any good or not!)
    • Frosty the Snowman (this animated classic just warms my heart, no pun
    • Santa Claus is Coming To Town (the old stop-motion animation)
    • Elf (buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp, "Did you HEAR that?" Gosh I love this movie! Buddy is da BOMB!)
    • The Muppets Christmas Carol
    • White Christmas (again, the classics)
    • Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1964 stop motion animation again -- love
    • Miracle on 34th Street (the black and white original - LOVE IT!)
    • The Santa Claus 1, 2 and 3
    • It's a Wonderful Life
    • Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus
    • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
    • Santa Buddies
    • A Christmas Story
    • The 12 Dogs of Christmas
    • Fred Claus
    • Jingle All The Way
    • Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas
    • Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas

And what's better is that you don't even have to own all these movies, many of them are shown on tv. I don't think I know too many people that sustain without a DVR unit so being able to watch them with your own family is easy as pie! Just start looking to record them NOW so you don't miss out! For instance, ABC has their 25 days of Christmas schedule on their website available for download HERE so now you have no excuse for missing the good ones!

AND, if you need a more thorough list check out THIS ONE as she has taken Christmas movie listing to a new height! It's an OCD, planners dream!

Another feature of our ADVENTure is a daily bible devotion. Yes, I am fully aware that we SHOULD be doing this but I don't always put this on the forefront as I should. What a great time for me to get this in the habit. I'm going to make this part of our month-long ADVENTure... focusing on what this holiday is about and learning more about the Word together. I'll put more into this as I get it wrapped up, too.

So, print out that December calendar and start writing down the fun you want to have this coming Christmas season! I can't wait!


Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

This is great that you're getting so organized. Sounds like a great idea to make it an ADVENTure!

Keli said...

I am so doing this this year! Thanks for the reminder I need to plan NOW and not wait til December :) I did something like this last year but didn't stick to it like I wanted to. I kinda forgot a bout it :( I'm going to print out my calander and get planning! Thanks!