I am at the stage of my life where I no longer have young children at home. I have five adult children ~ four of whom no longer live in our home ~ and two teens. They are busy with their own lives. They work, attend classes, have husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, as well as homes, friends, dogs ~ and in one case, a child ~ of their own. I never wanted to be that mama (or mother-in-law) who insisted that they must spend every holiday with us and carry on every tradition. Some of my children love all of the traditions, some can take them or leave them, and some would probably rather leave them (sniff). But that is alright. They are building lives, homes, families, and traditions of their own. Of course, they are always welcome here; they know that, and I try plan so that those who wish to participate are able to.
This year the best plan seems to be to focus on one or two special activities each Sunday during Advent, and invite all who are interested to join us.
- First Sunday, 29 November ~ we didn't do anything. Everyone had been here on Thanksgiving and had drawn names for Christmas gift-giving. We celebrated our older son's 18th birthday on Monday. I did finally get the Advent candle set up on Thursday.
- Second Sunday, 6 December ~ Saint Nicholas Day! The three children still living at home will awaken to orange rolls for breakfast. They will find chocolate coins, a mandarin orange, and new pjs in their stockings. After church I will provide a light lunch, some treats, and hot cocoa, and we will decorate our stockings (while watching the Seahawks game;).
- Third Sunday, 13 December ~ put up the tree and lights; maybe a trip to Main Street Bethlehem in the evening.
- Fourth Sunday, 20 December ~ Christmas baking. That night there is a free Christmas concert featuring choirs from 10 different local churches; this is one of the very few must-dos on my personal Advent list.