Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent 2011

Today is the first day of Advent! Advent is a time of longing and a time of sweet anticipation. It's a time when we can anticipate our Savior's birthday.
I have been working for a few months now (mostly pinning things) on our Advent activities. I have also slightly modified an Advent study I found online for us to use during our family time. (If you would like a copy, I would be more than happy to email it to you. Just leave a comment with your email address.)We will be using this felt Advent calendar in addition to our touchable nativity this year. As we are doing our family study each night we will add one character to the nativity and on some nights there will be another touchable object (for example: a bell, coin, snowflake). We might also incorporate a few ideas from the new ebook Truth in the Tinsel. It came out after I had already planned all of our activities, but hopefully we can use it for future years, too.Throughout the month we will be using our family message board as an activity board. Each of the following activities are on individual tags and as we complete them we will turn the tag over so that they just look like hanging ornaments by the end of the 25 days. (Even though I know which activity corresponds to our advent study each day, the tags are not numbered so that they can be re-usable and added to each year.) Since most of the activities were found on Pinterest, I added links in case you wanted to do some of the activities too. I'm sure we will be adding other things throughout the month, but here is our guide so far:
1- BG Lights Up!
2- Make Handmade Christmas Cards
3- Footprint/handprint angels
4- Play with Nativity Magnets
5- Decorate large felt Christmas tree
6- Use Longest to Shortest Paper Strips to make Christmas Tree
7- Nativity Puzzle Book
8- Gingerbread Nativity
9- Live Nativity/Candy Cane craft
10- Pine Cone Christmas Trees decorated with pom poms
11- Baby Jesus Craft (using two popsicle sticks)
12- Play with Star Stickers
13- Handprint Nativity Animals
14- Wise Men Handprint Craft
15- Practice Wrapping Presents/Read The King's List & Pick out Christmas Donations
16- Play with Nativity Finger Puppets
17- Play with a string of lights
18- Light of the World (lightbulb thumbprint craft)
19- Nativity Stamps
20- Sugar Cone Christmas Trees/Jingle Bell bracelets/Play with bells
21- Sort Bows by Color and Size
22- Nativity Stickers
23- Make Baby Jesus- using envelope
24- Baby Jesus Paper Bag craft
25- Bake Happy Birthday Jesus Cake and decorate the house with streamers

Just as a couple, Bryan and I are going to be reading through the Behold the Lamb of God Advent study. It just came out this year and I am really looking forward to it each evening.

So tonight we'll snuggle up as a family of four and we will begin this month-long journey of retelling the greatest story ever told. We will savor the story and we will long for our Savior.

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