A couple of Christmas's ago, we started doing a new thing where we give our kids almost all of their Christmas presents before Christmas. The idea is that getting the presents out of the way will make it easier for us to truly celebrate Jesus' birthday. And it's been working great for the past 2 years! I like it because less importance is placed on the presents. The kids like it because they get their presents early. (Mrs. BigKat is not as thrilled about the new system as I am, but she does see the need for it and enjoys the fact that it's working so well.)
Anyhow, at church, they asked us, as a family, to light the Advent candle this Sunday. And my job is to tell about our family traditions that help us keep Jesus as the focus of Christmas. Now everyone at church will get to hear about my crazy idea!
There's another Advent activity that LilKat1 and I are doing. It's actually something that I'm doing with my Sunday School class. We're doing an Advent Calendar, but it's a little different than your normal Advent calendar. You know the calendars where you open up the doors and eat the little chocolates (or get Legos or whatever)? Well, instead of getting things, we're giving things. Each day leading up to Christmas, we're giving a gift of service to Jesus. On our calendar, we write down something we can do to share God's love with someone else for each day of the month. Then, as we give our gifts of service, we draw hearts around whatever day it is to mark down what we did. For example, one day LilKat1 spent some time with his sister playing her favorite game. Another day, he emailed his favorite Bible verse to his grandmother. Another time, he helped make cookies, which we sold to help raise money to buy blankets for poor people in India to help them stay warm during the winter. So on Sunday, I'll be able to talk about our Advent Calendar too!
Here's a little video I made for my Sunday School class to illustrate the idea: