A Pause in Advent - Priorities | Mum In The Madhouse

A Pause in Advent – Priorities

“The Messiah shall come to Bethlehem –
That prophecy soon will come true
For Joseph is going to take me there
And I know that my baby is due”.
Today we will light the second candle on our advent wreath and discuss the shepherds and their sheep with the children.  I will be making cotton wool sheep with the minimads and we will have a quiet (we as quiet as possible with a 3 and 4 year old) family day.
Christmas is creeping up on us this week and I have done my best not to feel overwhelmed by the things that often need to be completed before Christmas day.  I have been savouring the joy of the children in rejoicing each day with our advent tasks and prioritising what is important for us.
The school had a fair with Father Christmas (or Santa as they seem to call him, which is so Americanised to me) and they were charging £3 per child to see.  You had to request a time slot the week before, which I duly did (only because both boys had been told about it (yes emotional blackmail) and by Thursday night had not received anything back from the school.  On Friday morning when taking MaxiMad to class I was told that they had been oversubscribed and only issues a small number of fast passes and then everyone else had to queue.
MadDad and I made a decision that we wouldn’t even go to the fair or try to take the boys to see Father Christmas, instead I explained that too many people wanted to see him and they could see him another time instead, which they accepted with more grace than I expected.  We came home and made hot chocolate and had lots of fun playing with a toy we are reviewing instead and had a lovely Friday afternoon and evening.
MaxiMad and I went to a joint birthday party yesterday and the talk on all the parents lips was of how people had queue for over 2 hours to see Father Christmas with screaming children, just to get a chocolate.  I didn’t feel smug, just sorry for the children and parents, but I did ask why they waited and all of them said they had told their children that they were going to see Father Christmas.
This really got me thinking about my priorities this advent and Christmas time.  I would rather the boys enjoyed time with me and MadDad than queue to see Father Christmas when they have already sent him a letter, will see him on Monday at Carols in the green and also have a visit from him on Christmas Eve night.  How often is too often.  I only remember ever seeing Father Christmas once over the holiday period as a child.
The other thing that yesterday really brought home to me was commercialism, not only of Christmas, but birthdays too.  Both the birthday girls had a huge pile of presents (I had made a small personalised zipper with beads inside) and both sets of parents were aghast at all these gifts just before Christmas.  It did make me feel a little better in that we are being forced to be more resourceful through lack of cash and I decided to count my blessings.
All in all it has been a wonderful week, with time set aside for and with each of the MiniMads. I have really enjoyed talking about advent and learning what they think it means and I am looking forward to another week.  This week I have two advent concerts, one for each of the boys and a list of presents to make and cakes to bake, but I will be prioritising my family first.
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