Christmas Advent

For the past few years I’ve had grand intentions of doing a December Advent, with daily activities or acts of service.  But my follow-through has been terrible, in part due to bad planning but also just because December can be so busy.  Last year I knew that doing an advent in London would work much  better because we just have fewer commitments, but I still didn’t pull it off.  This year I was determined, so I started planning earlier and making sure I had everything I needed, and then carefully coordinating the activities with the days of the week that best suited them.  It took a lot of planning, but it turned out to be reasonably successful.  Here are just a few of the things we did.  
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Making a Christmas countdown chain.

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You have to wear these blue shoe covers in the swimming locker room at the gym.

One of the acts of service was to put pound coins in the lockers at the gym I go to.  It was so interesting to see people’s responses to our service, sometimes they were completely confused.  The woman at the gym clarified with me in three different ways, making sure I understood that we would not get the money back.  Cameron and Eli did the men’s locker room and I did the women’s locker room with Mim & Simon.  

​I think another act of service that was a big hit with the kids and the recipients was making little Christmas thank-you notes and tying them to Lindt truffles to hand out to the bus drivers.  We ride the bus at least twice a day (to and from school) and the kids would fight over whose turn it was to give the treat.  Some of the bus drivers didn’t know what to say or do, but some of them were delighted.  It was really fun.  

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Peppermint hot choccy with cream on top.

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Christmas coloring from the now famous adult coloring books.

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Family carol service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Some of the other activities we did were making button Christmas ornaments, making Christmas treats and taking them to friends and neighbors, watching Christmas movies, writing Christmas cards to family members and classmates, and putting together Christmas gifts for the kid’s teachers. 

Another service we did that delighted the kids was to go to McDonald’s for dinner and pay for the car behind us in the drive-thru.  There aren’t a lot of drive-thrus in London so we don’t have a lot of options, but it’s always worth it.  Even if we don’t get to see the reaction of the people behind us, the reaction of the McDonald’s employees is always entertaining.  

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Christmas cookies.

It was really good for me to make the extra effort to spend this time with the kids during the holiday season.  I’m so grateful for what fun little people they are, even if I sometimes met resistance with my proposed activities.  (I won’t mention any names.)  
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Kip is our elf, and his appearances were a bit sporadic and unpredictable, but whenever he did get up to something, the kids were always amused. This was Mim’s favorite, and she decided that Elsa could be perfectly happy living at the North Pole, because the cold never bothered her anyway.

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