Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Adventus 2011: Celebrating Allergy-free

The Christmas season is a favorite time of the year for many families. Decorations are hung, cookies are baked and everyone seems to have a little extra bounce in their step.

Our family is no exception.  Even before we hit the Black Friday sales, everyone begins to talk about our favorite Christmas tradition - the Advent Calendar.  Beginning December 1st, our family takes a moment each day to focus on something related to Christmas.  Whether we watch a movie, sing a song or make a craft, we enjoy this moment together ... and allergy-free!

Often times, advent calendars include chocolate, cookies and other allergic foods.  For us, these foods take the fun out of the celebration.  During our advent activities, we take the focus off of food and place it on the other activities that make this season so special. 

This year, consider joining us in our little tribute to this magical holiday.  Each day, I will share what we are doing to remember Christmas.  You may then read along or gather your family or friends to do the activities with you.  We will begin on December 1st by making a garland to help us count the days.  Then, each day through December 25th (Christmas Day), I will tell you the stories, links and materials that you need to complete the days activities with your loved ones.  We begin our countdown tomorrow by creating an advent garland.  Check back at the beginning of each day to see what supplies you will need to complete the evening's advent activity.

I hope that you will celebrate this month of Joy with us.  I hope that you will share how you are counting advent down in your homes so that we may celebrate with you, too.  Whatever you do, I hope that you will take a moment from life's business to remember the meaning of this season. 

Merry Christmas and may your advent season be filled with blessings.

I will post the advent topics as I plan them along with the items that should be placed in our advent bags.  Here's the list:
December 1:  The Advent Calendar
December 2:  The Christmas Cast (baby Jesus or a recipe for salt dough)
December 3:  Why the Pine?  (star, tiny brown, and different sized green buttons)
December 4:  The Beginning (a tiny flashlight and the word "Genesis")
December 5: Two Letters and a Phone Call (stationary, envelope, and a pen)
December 6: Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree (picture of Charlie Brown's tree)
December 7: Give and Be Blessed ($10 gift card for each child)
December 8: Be Ready! (popsicle sticks or craft sticks)
December 9: The Light of Christmas (a tea light)
December 10: A Hint of Christmas (fake snow, pine sprigs, and berries)
December 11: Let Compassion Shine ($15 grocery store gift card)
December 12: God With Us (flashlight and a paper or salt dough angel)
December 13:  Our Elf Story ("An Elf's Story" and peppermints/cocoa mix)
December 14: The Gift of Family ("A Charlie Brown Christmas" Record-a-Book)
December 15: The Trip (picture from a family trip)
December 16: Las Posadas (pinata or advent bag full of small toys)
December 17: Hold the Gingerbread (a paper gingerbread man)
December 18: A Living Nativity (a map to a living nativity)
December 19: Wrap It Up!  (folded paper pieces each with a family member’s name)
December 20: Your Christmas Story (copy of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”)
December 21: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" (leave bag empty)
December 22: Three Kings (aluminum foil)
December 23: A-Caroling We Go (tapered candle)
December 24: Feed His Servants (cookie)
December 25: Let's Party! (birthday card telling angels to look in the refrigerator)

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