Weekend number one is done, and not without great moments and important lessons. My husband is still in the thick of Black Friday chaos at work so we extended grace on his limited participation in this pilot weekend.
We started with two passages, Micah 5:2-5 and Luke 2:6-7, with the intention of pointing to the idea of small beginnings to big plans. The kids took turns reading and we had a short conversation about what we thought it all meant.
Next, we popped some popcorn and watched what turned out to be our own perfect combination of Christmas movies. Elf, The Sound of Music and the second season Christmas episode of Downton Abbey. Okay, one is not even a movie and one relates to Christmas only in that it's always shown at Christmastime. And I may or may not have missed chunks of one or all three from drifting in and out of consciousness. But two of us were still standing (read: barely hanging off the couches) by the third set of scrolling credits, fully satisfied.
Sunday was more of a secret mission. We wrote encouraging messages on sticky notes and snuck them into places all over the mall and the public library. Some were placed to be discovered only moments later. Some may offer their intended pep talk months from now. I loved seeing the kids get very calculated about their placement, like picking books whose titles related to the note ("You're Awesome" went in, naturally, 1000 Awesome Things).
My biggest lesson at this point has been one of self-control (shout-out to the Holy Spirit). This campaign could have run away from me and straight to Pinterest hell, but reading up on Ferguson on Friday morning renewed my perspective of what my goals are and what the most valuable details should be. The weekly instruction card came from a 6-pack in the $1.50 bin at Michaels. Our entertainment came from Netflix and basic cable. And the stickies came from the dollar store. I decided against printing out darlingly-fonted 1's, 2's, 3's and 4's in favour of well, writing the numbers with a marker. I took no perfectly-angled photos of us watching Buddy trek through the seven levels of the candy cane forest. And I let the kids wrote what they wanted on those papers and leave them where they wanted to. And I didn't force a full-on testimony out of anybody after reading those passages.
So far, so good. I was nervous that it would be too ambitious but these activities were simple enough for this incredibly busy family to handle. We are getting our tree today, back to real after the severe backlash I received for buying a fake white one last year. We'll see what moments emerge tonight...
What new traditions are you establishing this Christmas season?