There are, of course, a few stragglers…. lego league, soccer practice. But, in general, our nights are quieter.
A few weeks ago I bought a Christmas study guide from the Small Seed. I had planned to use it for myself, but as I glanced through it, I realized that it would be a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas as a family.
This year we are celebrating Advent, something new to us.
Traditionally, a candle is lit each week leading up to Christmas. We, will be lighting two, sometimes three because Anna and I decided that more candles are better.
There are traditional scriptures to read. We pick a couple of verses and read them together.
Each week has a theme, Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
At the end of each reading the study guide has a couple of questions to ponder. I ask the questions and set a timer for three to five minutes. And they write, or think, or doodle – entirely up to them. If AJ is being crazy Justin and I take turns taking him out.
My goals are….
To teach them to be still. Sometimes we can’t learn until we take the time to think, to listen.
To bring the teachings of Christ more fully into Christmas.
To have them see if writing helps them think, and process.
To slow down dinner. No eating and running. As a bonus, it’s harder to climb all over the table if there’s a fire there.
There was some grumbling. An “That doesn’t sound much like a celebration” comment when I enthusiastically explained my plan, a need to go grab computers for those who hate to write by hand, but I have been surprised….
That my kids are mostly attentive – maybe it’s being at the table vs lounging on the couch for scriptures?
At what my children notice from the passages. We read from two different translations and the oldest two have fun comparing the word choices.
At the willingness to write.
The capacity of my seven year old to express himself in words. This is the kid that cried when I told him he had to write three, not one sentence for his homework.
That some of them want to keep writing long after the timer goes off.
Currently, I am loving this season of quiet.
May the holiday season bring, joy, love, and peace.