Sunday, December 18, 2011

advent activities

Surprise, surprise.... we are behind on our advent activities.  It always seems to happen no matter how carefully I try to schedule what we do on what day.  I guess there are always other things that will come up.  Oh well, we are still having a good time with the ones we are getting done
December 1 was writing a letter to Alisson - our compassion child.  The kids drew pictures for her:
We also took some pictures to send to her.
December 2 was making Christmas bread.  Instead of something more traditional like stollen, I thought the kids would enjoy making monkey bread. 

 My intent was to add pecans and chopped dried cherries to make it more Christmasy but there were five people in the family who thought that was a dumb, yummy bread ruining thing to do, so we made it plain.  I forgot to take any after pictures.  The first batch was a little ugly, lets just say.  I baked it for what it said, and it looked done on top, put when I dumped it out of the pan to cool all the way, it obviously was not cooked through.  I plopped it back in the pan and put it back in the oven.  It still tasted great.  We made another batch the next day that turned out perfectly.
December 3 was shopping for and filling shoe-boxes - gifts for needy children.  The school does this each year, encouraging each student to bring in a box full of school supplies, a few toiletries, candy and a toy.... very much like Samaritans Purse.  So we all headed out to Megamaxi (yes, real store name, the Walmart of Quito) and picked up all we needed.

 December 4 we were supposed to pull names for the Casa G. gift exchange, but it was dictated that this was to happen at a later date.

 December 5 was putting shoes outside of the bedroom door in anticipation of St. Nicholas Day.
 After "St. Nicholas" stuffed the shoes with goodies, the household kitty started to play with the contents.  Therefore "St. Nicholas" had to wrap each pair of shoes up in a plastic bag to deter said kitty.
December 6 we started to make gifts for the kids' classmates.  We started to paint clothes pins in order to make rubber band shooters for all the boys.  In the end, 10 days later, we gave them other things as we ran out of time to finish the shooters.  It was just as well as a few friends mentioned that it might not be the best gift to give - some parents might frown.....
December 7 we were to write notes to cheer to our friends.  Another thing we didn't get done...
December 8 we made snowflakes and decorated the house.

I was started to feel very discouraged about the whole activities thing.  This is something we have done for I think 8 years now and each year there is just too much going on to accomplish what we set out to accomplish.  I considered the idea of not doing the advent chain activities next year but I think the kids would be too disappointed.  Half the time they seem more thrilled with the actual taking the next chain off and seeing what the activity is than doing the actual activity itself.  The big thing is the tradition anyway, and I'd rather not be too swamped with activities - stressing about not getting it all done.  
So we will continue.  If we can catch up on them later, great.  If we can't, no worries.  In the end it is fun anyway, and completing the list is not the point of a Merry Christmas.

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