Advent is my favorite part of the year, one could say I love the smell of it in the air. Unfortunately during the last decades it turned into the biggest consumption period of the year, distracting people from its true meaning. It is important to ask ourselves which message do we want to send to our children. Do we want them to think that everything can be bought? To find joy only in material things (presents)? Of course not:) Here are some of the preparations for Christmas we did in our family;)
Every week we visit library and its children corner to borrow some books that Natalia chooses and finds there. Last week I wanted to borrow some Christmas themed books, and found it very challenging. Most books involved Santa and waiting for Christmas to open presents, therefore not really the best choice. I was really happy to encounter the book by Shomei Yoh which was translated to German as “Mein Weihnachtstraum”. Very simple, beautifully illustrated book, perfect for small kids. Apart from Christmas it also gives you opportunity to talk about dreams, stars, sky etc.
Making the Advent wreath together with your kids can be lots of fun. They can help with gluing various decorations on it, deciding where the candles should be, place some spices (e.g. cinnamon) on it etc. It helps your children become aware of the time, that the Christmas is coming closer, as every week one more candle is lighted. Another great preparation for Christmas is to make the Advent calendar for your kids, where you can put some Christmas poems for each day, some recipes and ingredients of cookies that he or she can make that day, some materials for making decorations etc. You can practice numbers and so many practical skills along the way.
Make Christmas decorations with your kids. I really like the list of toddler friendly ornaments that was recently posted on the following blog. So far we (mostly Natalia, Miro participated in painting and putting his hand prints;) have made a lot of decorations based on salt-dough (1 glass of flour, 1 glass of water, 3/4 glass of salt). As well we made presents for grandparents from it 😉
Bake cakes and cookies!:) Great thing about cookies is that you can include even the smallest ones (10 month old ones;) in the preparation. There are so many easy recipes (e.g. banana cookies (best recipe I found includes: 1 banana, 100 g of butter, 230 g of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder)).
Depending on the age of your kids you can decide to save some money during Advent and instead of spending on presents prepare some package for orphanage, donate money for research of rare diseases, help some family in need in your town etc.
Sing, dance and enjoy the time with your family!:)