Thursday, December 31, 2015

Advent Celebration and Gentle Rhythm

Are you just coming down from the hectic days around the holiday?  Did Christmas feel like a let down after all the resources you invested for just a few hours of unwrapping and overeating?

I have felt that way for so many years.  That is not what I want my son to think Christmas is all about.  So this year we tried an experiment that we have deemed a success and plan to continue next year.

Before I tell you what it was, please know it was way less insane than many Christmas Days I've witnessed.  We hosted an All Family Advent Celebration.  We {the six year old boy and I} talked and roughly planned it in the Fall.  {We both love to offer hospitality, but we don't do well with big expectations.}  We sent out invitations in October so that people could mark their calendars.  Here are the highlights:

  • Each Sunday evening of Advent we had a simple meal at our house
  • We made soup 3 weeks, and we made pizza the last week
  • There was no pressure to attend, but all were welcome
  • There was no pressure to bring food or eat the food we had prepared, but guests were invited to contribute
  • He lit our advent wreath each week
  • We had simple crafts, seasonal books to read, and Christmas music

The number of guests we had ranged from 2 - 18.  The last week my son was super excited that his teacher joined us!

There was always enough food!

Sometimes it was really quiet, and sometimes it was really loud with kids playing and adults laughing.

Since it was new we could keep the expectations simple.

Our house got tidied once a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We got to offer hospitality.  We got to make lovely memories with different combinations of family members.  This added a lovely rhythm to the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It would also work nicely with a close group of friends!

Now it's time to reflect:  What worked well for you during the holiday season?  What will you repeat?  What will you delete?

Happy New Year!