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An Advent Calendar of Surprises

Recently I was chatting with a friend who was flabbergasted that I’m basically done with my Christmas shopping. Really, that’s just because I love Amazon and I’m at Costco once a week. It makes it a little easier for me. But still- it made me feel really good about how well I was doing in preparation. 

I finally have my decorations up now, including an Advent calendar that I made several years ago. I love the idea and doing a little something each day, and ive done something different inside t each year. Since my kids are all under age 5, they are just now getting into knowit nc what I’m reading to them, or looking forward to the activities that are in there. So this year, I filled the little pockets with Bible verses (mostly chronological, about the angel coming to Mary, Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, etc.) and Christmas-themed family acitivities that I ripped off of several different folks’ ideas on their sites (watch a Christmas movie, sing a carol, etc.). Then I stuck a few jelly beans in five random pockets as a fun surprise. 

But I didn’t do all of this and prepare it until we should’ve been on day 3. We had already bypassed two whole days of December and it was the afternoon of the 3rd before I got started. So naturally, it’s a little scattered and low-budget looking. I didn’t print beautiful cards. I didn’t even write very clearly on half of them. I wasn’t super creative. You might say I was a slacker.

But giving my kids something to look forward to each day was important to me. I wanted them to look for a little surprise, and to wonder whether today was the day with candy. I wanted them to read a verse each day about Jesus’s coming, and have the reminder of what Christmas is about. 

My kids don’t care that it could’ve been a little nicer or that I was two days late. They love surprises, and they love having a thing to look forward to. That’s all advent is, anyway: the looking forward to things to come. It’s the anticipation of Christ’s arrival, and the coming of a king. It’s a surprise, a glorious and wonderful surprise, the saving of souls and celebration of the saints. 

Whitney Hsu

Whitney is wife to wonderful Ryan, and mama of bold and hilarious Ella Kate, Joseph and Davis. She leads worship at a new campus of an old church, and writes about life, parenting, and the Gospel. When she isn't writing, she's reading, running, making music, and being a foodie. Follow her journey here: WereOnlyHsuman.com Facebook.com/wereonlyhsuman Twitter & Instagram @onlyhsuman

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