A Pause in Advent – Priorities 7

“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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7 thoughts on “A Pause in Advent – Priorities

  • zooarchaeologist

    Cotton Wool sheep is a fantastic idea! I am finding your posts inspirational at the moment 🙂 x

  • Geriatric Mummy

    I'm with you on the too much father xmas theme. One visit to see him a year is plenty. Surely more than that and some of the magic will be lost?

    Too much already…

  • bad penny

    I popped in to the primary school Christmas fete for old time's sake .

    " Santa's " Grotto was beaytifully done but there was quite a queue. However threr were lots of things to do stalls face painting, cookie decorating etc and it was lovely.

    I do agree though it must be so confusing to little children about so many dressed up Father Christmasses – I always explained it to mine so that they knew the REAL one came on Christmas eve

  • dottycookie

    Loving your advent posts. We're going to make tiny houses today, and we've been talking about St Nicholas.

    I'm stunned at your school Father Christmas experience – have they really not encountered this before? £3 is extortionate. We have ours this afternoon – admittedly we are only a small school but there's lots to do other than see FC and we issue numbers and use the village cricket scoring cards to show whose turn it is. It usually seems to work.

  • sarah { abeachcottage }

    good post, I'm enjoying this advent blog round-up, I'm so with you on the commercialism, really is hideous and an effort to keep one's nose firmly held up above it all… 😉


  • Mary Poppins

    Beautiful Christmas lights. I am so with you on the commercialism, I can't stand it, and have become so much more intolerant of it since loosing our little baby in 2005, I think when you are faced with a very stressful time it certainly makes you think about ones priorities, and like you time spent with ones family is the most important thing. We did take the children to see Father Christmas at the local garden center, there was no queue and was all very calm 🙂

    I love your boys' stockings too, so cute 🙂




  • skirtsandwellies

    The house looks lovely! I too like to avoid the madness as much as possible during the holidays. Including the school christmas fair. I went to lend a hand, but the boys stayed home with their dad and I brought them each a lucky dip home. They were more than happy with that and I didn't waste half the money or time. They have enough parties and events this time of year they really need the down time.

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