Okay, so I meant to post this almost a month ago....December 10 is when I started it...and since I promised some girls that I would answer some questions about this advent stuff...here it is...sorry it's a month late...the month of December and advent activities and gift making must have taken over:
About the middle of last week we ran into a problem. Asher was BORED with advent.
He loves the "unwrap a book everyday until Jesus' birthday" idea.
He loves the singing and the praying.
But he was not enjoying the "lesson" part.
The study we were using is not boring...it is great! But for this almost 3 year old it was just not interactive enough. He'd sit there quietly throughout the lesson but he wasn't listening — he'd be in a daze or would be fidgeting with something.
We want Asher to LOVE advent. We don't care if he understands every deep spiritual truth or can explain the symbolism of each character. We want him to be in awe of the story of our how Jesus, our Savior, came to live as Immanuel — God with us. We want him to adore the Christmas story. We want him to look forward to hearing about how angels announced Christ's birth. We want him to be in awe as he listens to how even wealthy, wise kings left their home and traveled many miles to worship the true King.
So, what did the Apel's do when advent wasn't going quite like they'd aspired?
After much discussion, Charlie broke up the "Christmas Story" into the number of days that we had left until Christmas. Each day, we read from the beginning and add a little more to the story. Asher likes to act it out with his nativity as Charlie tells it. Then we answer questions pertaining to the story. After just a few days of this new schedule, he is liking it much better.
I'm sharing this to encourage you that if advent isn't going how you'd hoped...make some changes! Adapt different reading plans or studies to work for your family! Simplify if you need to! The whole purpose is to meditate on Jesus...to anticipate his coming. We can't do that if we're overwhelmed with trying to fit in all of these cute activities or forcing our families to sit through a devotional that is inappropriate for them.
With that said, I am going to share a few more ideas (ha) that I've stolen from others that maybe you'll like to try next December?