We've been going to a new church for about 2 months now. We love it. The boys are getting so much more out of going now than they did at our old church. They've got tons of programs to get involved in, the pastor is great, and best of all, they've got a ton of service times to pick from! The flexibility in schedule is a major bonus for us.
They started their Christmas services last week at church. Something was brought to our attention that we didn't really have any idea about before: Advent. They passed out booklets explaining a little bit about the tradition of lighting weekly candles to symbolize the birth of Jesus. We've been struggling with the boys lately (especially Brandon) with the true meaning of Christmas. All we hear from him is "I can't wait to see what I get" or "I really hope Santa gets me ----". We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to help direct the boys to a deeper meaning of the holidays.
So we've made the plans for our first year of Advent. It's a little confusing trying to look information up on the subject. So many people honor it in different ways. Some do it once a week leading up to Christmas day, some celebrate it everyday with different activities and scripture readings. Since we've never done it before, we've gone with the once a week thing. So every Sunday night, we will gather together around the Advent wreath, light that weeks candles, and study scripture relating to the symbolization of the candle. Next year we are hoping to have more time to plan for it and get the boys more involved with weekly projects and things like that. But we're excited to be doing anything at all this year. We're hoping that this turns into a regular thing and that we can find the motivation to do a short study as a family every week, all year long.