Well, its begun. This hectic, festive season of crafting and giving, baking and eating, and generally making merry. Our family is not particularly religious, and we celebrate the Winter Solstice as well as Christmas as a time for giving, for bringing light into the darkest days of winter, and for creating joy for those we love. Advent is an extension of that, and it allows us as parents to place more emphasis on giving and celebrating together as a family, than on shopping.
That said, our annual advent activities haven't always gone off as imagined (I'm not sure we've had a lantern walk yet without tears) and it seems like throughout the month activities get swapped from day to day, or forgotten altogether in the busyness of our days. I'm sure those things will still happen, but this year I've worked a bit harder to ensure that the activities are fun and not a challenge to our schedule. First, I removed the activities that no one seemed excited about (I'm still committed to the Lantern walk). And, I planned well--even consulting Rob's and my calendars before placing the activities for each day (this is huge for me). Finally, I kept a master list of what went where, so that I could consult it weekly to see if any supplies might be needed so I could, for example, buy stuff to make gingerbread houses before the morning comes that we're supposed to make them (imagine!) I also gave myself a break, and decided to give candy on a couple of our busiest days.
Merry making, lights, sugar, concerts, parties, bring it on. We're ready to celebrate. These dark days sure could use some light.
Pre-advent late night planning: calendar, Gordon Bach, hot buttered run, chocolate chip cookies.