A few years ago, we started a tradition of buying our kids three gifts (and three gifts only!) at Christmas time. We thought it was a nice way to honor the Christmas story, remembering the three gifts brought to Jesus. Plus, the "three gift rule" keeps us from overspending. And having a biblical tie-in keeps me from feeling like I'm just being my normal cheap-o self.
Our church family is participating in the Advent Conspiracy, and we want to be very intentional about our worship this season. We're looking for deliberate ways to involve our kids in honoring Christ as Christmastime.
So this year, the kids will open two gifts from Mom and Dad on Christmas morning, and for their third gift we're making a donation in their names to Living Water International.
Let me just echo my husband here, and say please do not be tempted to shed a tear for our children who only get two presents at Christmas. There are already well over 20 gifts under our tree just from Granny and Great-grandma alone. Trust me, there will be gifts-o-plenty to be opened Christmas morning.
....Family Night this evening was all about WATER.
We started out painting with watercolors, while we waited for our water to boil to make our mac-n-cheese for dinner.
Then we talked about how not everyone lives in a place with running water, or access to clean water.
Then we looked at pictures of people and places in need of a clean water source.
We talked about young girls who spend all day walking long distances to collect clean water and bring it back to their homes, often giving up their education to do so.
We made a poster board with a few pictures of these people and places, and also included several pictures of people collecting clean water from wells like the ones the kids will help build with their Christmas gift.
A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Ryan and Dylan really seemed to "get it" after looking at the images.
Then we talked about how easily we get clean water in our home - just by turning on the faucet. Or the dishwasher. Or the dispenser in the fridge. Or the washing machine. Or the filtered water cooler in the corner of our dining room.
On the other side of our poster we made a list of all the different ways we use water.
Then the kids each made a "tornado in a bottle." Which is just a fancy way of saying dump a bunch of glitter a bottle, shake it up, and watch the glitter spin. The main purpose was so we could put a label on the bottle to help them remember to pray for Living Water International and the people who need wells.
It was kind of a heavy theme at times tonight....so to end the night on a super fun note, the kids put on their swimsuits and got to take a "swim" in our tub.
I wasn't sure how much Lauryn was taking in or understanding this evening, but as I was putting on her swimsuit she somberly said, "Mommy, we get to take a bath in clean water. Not dirty water."
Labels: family night
What a great family night! WOW!
Okay, I have to say--I LOVE how deliberately you guys are parenting your children. LOVE IT! Jonathan's all into this collaboration with childrens ministry, right?? Well, I want to be on your parental collaboration team!! I'm learning from you guys and getting amazing ideas just from reading your blogs! You're making me a better mom! :-) Keep it up!
How cool is that! I love it!
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Would you mind if I loaded the content and youtube video onto our church blog? This is really awesome how you guys have built this in to your kids through Family Night! Our church is doing Advent Conspiracy also and we have a blog that I would post this to. With your permission, of course.