A few years ago we made an Advent Wreath (from dollar store supplies), that's still holding up to our use of it. Each Sunday we light the candle(s) and talk about what that week stands for. This culminates on Christmas Eve when all four wreath candles, plus the center Christ candle are all lit. This year, we also have A Family Advent, but have not utilized it much, yet. What a great way to keep Jesus as the center of our focus this month!
This is the first year our kids have made a list of things they want. To keep the focus off of presents, we do not put the gifts under the tree until the week of Christmas. The gifts the kids buy/make for each other are wrapped and placed in their stockings, so those are also out of sight. We had a blessing in disguise while my husband was laid off, after we were first married. At that time, there was no money for presents under the tree. We had little ones that wouldn't remember, and had to be creative about the few gifts that made it into the stockings. Since that time, each child gets one present under the tree from Mom and Dad and a stocking full of goodies from siblings. It's so sweet to take them to a $1 aisle and have them ponder the gifts for each other, or watch as they make things, or even wrap up their own toys for each other. In this way, my hope is that the focus isn't on what they're getting, and spending hours staring at presents wondering. My hope is that they are thinking about what will bring a smile to someone else.
What do you do? What are your favorite resources to prepare your heart this season? How are you intentionally passing these things on to your kids?