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Preparing for Christmas

The Christmas season is one of the busiest times of the year… and 2015 is no different for us! However, since Advent gives us four whole weeks to prepare for Christmas, I wrote down a bunch of ideas to encourage us to have giving hearts this season and focus on the significance of the Christmas Story (a new take on our 12 Dates!). It’s going to be a great opportunity to teach Summer about patience….waiting and hoping for something that would change the world forever, the arrival of the newborn King!!!

So here’s our list of 24 things we wanted to do together and I’ve included a Bible reading/verse for each day. There’s some pretty great resources out there for kids at Christmas, unfortunately a little older than our Summer but I’m soooo looking forward to reading those with our kids too!

Dec 1: John 1:14 -16 Decorate a tiny tree!

Dec 2: Luke 19:10 Pinecone Paint

Dec 3: Hebrews 13: 20-21 Start reading the Nativity Story

Dec 4: Mark 10: 45 Make Christmas cards and send to friends near and far!

Dec 5: 1 John 3:5, 8 Visit the Christkindlmarket

Dec 6: John 12: 27- 28 Make Christmas shapes with cookie cutters and play-doh

Dec 7: Acts 3: 22-26 Wrap up and go see the Christmas lights in Millennium Park

Dec 8: Acts 3: 22-26 Mummy and Summer’s secret Christmas shopping date for Daddy ;)

Dec 9: John 1: 51 Make heart ornaments for family

Dec 10: 1 John 3: 8 Bake some Christmas cookies for the neighbors

Dec11: John 3:16 Build a Snowman (weather permitting!!!)

Dec12: John 1: 1 Visit Santa Claus!

Dec13: Acts 3: 24 Homemade hot chocolate and marshmallows!

Dec14: Romans 15: 8-9 Pancake picnic for dinner

Dec 15: Matthew 2: 10 Clear out toys and donate to a local charity store

Dec16: Mark 10: 45 Read a favorite Christmas Story

Dec17: Mark 10: 44 ummm…fly home to Ireland for Christmas!

Dec18: Romans 3:25-26 Sleepover at Nana and Papa’s!!

Dec19: Acts 17: 24-25 Help wrap presents

Dec 20: Romans 5: 11 Carol Service

Dec 21: Matthew 16: 15- 17 Starbucks Date with Mum and Dad

Dec 22: Hebrews 8: 4- 10 Go see Cinderella at the Waterfront!

Dec 23: Micah 5:4- 5 Watch a Christmas movie…

Dec 24: John 6: 51 Open a special Christmas Eve Package

Dec 25: Luke 2: 11-14 

* These Bible Readings have been taken from ‘The Dawning of Indestructible Joy’ by John Piper. Something we look forward to reading together at dinner, keeping Him at the center of our Christmas.

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Christmassy Squares of Lately Life

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It’s Beginning to feel like Christmas

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This morning has been a slow drip of a day so far. A real gem. I’d say Saturdays are pretty good if you’re still in your pjs by 12 ;)   Summer has been playing contently with her basket of books for a solid hour, every now and again looking over with the sweetest giggle and twinkle in her eyes!! SO CUTE.

Finally it’s beginning to feel like Christmas and this week we started our 12 Dates of Christmas tradition…which you can read about here and see a few from last here, here or here. One of the things Phil and I have tried to do more around the Christmas season is spend some quality time together, it all started in China without family and friends…no Christmas parties or work dinners or running around buying presents for everyone just the simple joy of having each other. It takes a little bit of work since it’s such a busy time of year wherever you are and we haven’t always quite made the 12 but it’s worth a try!!

It can be anything from grabbing a Christmassy coffee together, dancing around the tree or wrapping up and taking a walk in the (fingers crossed!) snow… so on our second date this year we went out to pick Nana and Papa’s tree…we headed to Greenmount Christmas tree farm with Summer to pick her very first!! I have a feeling this Christmas is going to be different, even more special because we got our Christmas gift early this year with little Summer.

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