Let's not call these resolutions since everyone seems to be so down on those these days. How about goals?? Who doesn't need goals at the beginning of a new year?
Sorting through school papers and art projects and deciding what to keep and what to part with (Completion Goal-April 30) Getting caught up on baby books (which actually go through 12th grade)-(Completion Goal-April 30)
A HUGE garage sale-after all we are purging 21 years of "stuff"(Completion Goal-May 20)
An organized storage room (Completion Goal-September 30)
Less TV more reading (Ongoing) When I looked at my Goodreads bookshelf it said I read one book in 2012. There were actually more than that but I do need to improve here.
Be intentional in my relationships with other people (excluding my immediate family). Unfortunately, at this stage in my life there just isn't a ton of time to build and nurture relationships. I need to make sure I am investing in people who actually want to have a relationship and spend time with me instead of pursuing those who do not. (This sounds weird......I know what I mean and when I come back and check in on this list in 4 months I think I will still know.)
At least one date night a month.
Try two new recipes (Completion Goal-End of February)
So I tried something new this year with our advent. In the past we have done the playmobil advent, the boxes of chocolate advent, the paper advent, etc. Someone had posted the idea on pinterest to do an activity advent. The idea being to incorporate the traditions you already do anyway with some new activities, one each day. I LOVED the idea but wasn't sure I would be organized enough to get it accomplished.
I'm not sure anyone even still reads this blog but if they do and they are wondering about an activity advent, here's my two cents.
Start planning early, probably in November. If your house is like ours it gets crazy about mid-November and it is better to have this done.
Write down all the activities/ideas you have.
Get a blank calendar page and start filling in the days. Some activities will be easy to schedule. i.e. a child's Christmas concert or a party you have scheduled. Some will be more difficult if you aren't sure of when you want to do them.
My kids each had a numbered card they opened each day. Last summer when we were at IKEA I picked up this neat wall-hanging wire that was great to hook them all to. (Normally it is used for artwork.) Using these cards made it easy to change the activities at the last minute if necessary.
Be flexible. As always happens in December, something unexpected will come up that thwarts your plans. (i.e. an emergency root canal the day you were supposed to take the kids downtown to look at lights). These are the days you need to have a back up like "peppermint day". For us this meant candy canes to stir your hot chocolate with.
This year we had an book that we read every day that covered the spiritual side of advent. Next year I hope to incorporate all my activities with verses or with the days in an advent book.
The kids loved getting up every morning to see what the day's activity would be. I'm not sure it necessarily always helped them to think of Jesus' birth but it did create excitement for Christmas. With a few tweaks I think it will be the perfect way to commemorate advent.
Hearing our boy's clear, beautiful voice sing out Christmas carols
Listening to our girl exclaim how she loves all of our traditions
Holding each other close in the wake of a tragedy
Being blessed with a white Christmas
Attending an amazing Christmas Eve service
that really grasped and help us embrace
where the focus of our celebration always needs to be
I'm not sure exactly what it was but this year was very special. Maybe it's because the kids are older. Maybe it's because we were really able to recognize that we are not promised tomorrow so we need to make the most of today. Maybe it's because we live in uncertain times and that brings into focus what is truly important. All I know is that I don't want to forget a thing!
for my family
for the blessings we have been given
for my God
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19