Sunday, December 28, 2014

Advent Sundays

This year, I picked up a tradition that my family did when I was a child.  On each Advent Sunday (the four Sundays before Christmas), we light the candles on the Advent wreath and every person in the family opens one present.
As a kid, you can understand why I loved this tradition.  A present! Advent Sundays were such magical days.  Since there were four other people in my family growing up, I picked one person each week to gift a present.

This was the first year I introduced the tradition to my own kids (and Rick).  As a parent, I appreciated the ritual on a whole new level.

1) I hate bombarding the kids with too many presents.  I think Christmas morning can be overwhelming and lose meaning when presents are thrown from all directions.  Spreading our family presents out over four weeks meant Palmer could slow down and appreciate each gift.

2) Our weekly celebration taught a lesson in giving.  Each week, I asked Palmer who was the one person in our family he wanted to pick to receive a present on Advent Sunday.  Palmer took his gifting responsibility seriously and picked out something special each time.
3) The whole purpose of the Advent season is anticipation.  By lighting the candles (one candle on the first Advent Sunday, two on the second, and so forth) there is a visual representation of how much longer to Christmas.  As a parent, that's helpful to physically show a three year old how many weeks until Christmas.
Thanks, Mom and Dad for the fun tradition.  I'm glad to continue it in my own family.


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