Year 2 of our Christ Centered Advent Calendar was a success! It was very sweet how excited the boys were to do this every night. Scripture study can be a struggle on occasion, but not during the month of December. They are begging us to do it!
One of my favorite days was the very first. Our Christmas decorations had been up and we’d been watching some holiday shows, but my heart hadn’t felt that thing… that magical, joyous feeling of Christmas. I kept waiting for it to come but it wasn’t until our first family scripture study that I felt it.
Alaster opened the first day and Corey taught us from Mosiah ch. 3 where King Benjamin teaches his people about the “Lord Omnipotent,” who “shall come down among the children of men,” the one who brought salvation to us through “faith on his name.” I felt the spirit so strongly confirming to my heart as it has done on countless other occasions that it was true. I never, ever tire of hearing about Jesus, and I love the beautiful language of the scriptures. My heart was overcome with gratitude and love for Him, and just like that… the magic and joy and warmth of Christmas was there!
We kept the tradition of cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate on the first night… which also added to my Christmas cheer 🙂 Here are the boys enjoying it. Well… Jack and Alaster anyway. Truman wouldn’t take a bite! He preferred to play in the living room…
And the first opening… (please excuse the picture quality of pretty much all of the shots in this post! I am horrible at taking pictures once natural light has left, and all of our traditions happen in the evening!)
Every night we either read from the scriptures, words of the modern prophets, or songs of a hymn. Sometimes we took advantage of the church’s new Bible videos. We would read the story in the scriptures, discuss, then watch the corresponding video. I really enjoyed those nights!
Some evenings had a Christmas Activity that corresponded in some way to what we read.
But if you were to ask the boys what their favorite tradition night is, I bet they’d say the mistletoe. We read John 13:34 and talked about Jesus’s commandment to love and how we could do that. The mistletoe was a great reminder to us to give love! We let them decide where to hang it, and for the second year they chose smack dab in the middle of our living room ceiling. Many times in the month of December I would hear a little boy saying “MoooOOOOOmmmmm…. Guess where I aaaaAAAAmmmmm?!?!?” They loved getting extra hugs and kisses whenever they wanted, and I loved obliging them!
A new night we did this year involved Gingerbread Men! We studied 2 Nephi 9:10-12 and talked about the resurrection and how wonderful it is that because of Jesus we will have our bodies forever! Bodies… Gingerbread Men… get it? The boys loved rolling, cutting, and decorating their Gingerbread Men and Gingerbread Ladies!
Another activity which I will show in a separate post happened the night that we read and sang Families Can Be Together Forever. We talked about how Jesus made it possible for our family to be together forever and about the importance of our families. Then we made cards for family members that live far away.
And because we just really, really like to snuggle around here, another night… I forget the scripture that went with it… the activity was family snuggle time. And yes, believe it or not, the boys were totally thrilled and happy about this activity. They were SUPER hoping for a good brother snuggle with Truman. They plopped themselves on the floor and beckoned him over. He didn’t go for it. He came over, looked at them like “Hey guys… you are looking pretty weird on the floor there…” and then he smacked Jack on the tummy. (We all thought it was really funny but tried not to show it… we are trying to teach him not to hit!) In the end they settled for a snuggle with the two of them, and then dad plopped Truman on top. And when they all got up from the floor he gave them hugs and kisses. You can kind of see the progression in the pictures…
And on Christmas Eve Morning (long story… but we opened presents on Christmas Eve) before we opened presents we read John 3:16. It felt good to talk about the greatest gift of love that has ever been given before we opened our gifts.
Being done with the calendar was pretty sad! Alaster begged the next day… “PLEASE!!! Can we just do it ONE. MORE. TIME?!?!”
Next year buddy… next year!