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Well, there are many ways to get to Christmas. Many ways to count the days until finally, Christmas has arrived! It is of course especially hard for children to wait. Excitement and joy can be felt everywhere, and the anticipation of gifts can be overwhelming along with everything else going on. When my children were little we would make a red and green paper chain with 25 loops. We then wrote the name of family members and friends on each loop. Every night, we would cut off one loop and pray together for that person whose name was on the loop. This taught them to be concerned and to think of others and wish the best for them. We also would write out 25 kind deeds on slips of paper; Like, call Grandma, give daddy 3 kisses, color a picture for Uncle Paul, shovel the sidewalk for the neighbor. Then, I would tape each one to a present. Each day, the kids would pick one out of the Christmas stocking I put them in and carry out  the kindness as well as receiving a gift. From this they learned that you give what you get. Of course, we also set up a little Christmas tree in each of their rooms. Each day, we open up a box and pull out a special ornament to be placed onto the tree. By Christmas Day it is both beautiful and complete. It gave them a sense of pride in both creating a lovely tree, and doing it all by themselves. They also had their own Advent Calendars filled with goodies as well, and with each a bible verse to recite. From this they learned God's word and promise. I'm sure today things are done in all sorts of manners and ways. People come up with the cutest things. But, back when I was raising by children there was no internet until they were in High School. Can you just imagine that? Smile. So, go ahead and enjoy some of these with your kids. It makes for another fabulous family tradition. My own kids now do it with their children... Ideas to write on your chain... Christmas Paper Chain Advent *Start with the bottom link and take one off each day to find a fun activity to share with your child! 1.  Cut out a snowflake and hang it up in your window. 2.  Bake a special treat and deliver it to a lonely neighbor. 3.  Write a secret “angel note” telling a family member what you appreciate about him or her. 4.  Recite a favorite Christmas poem. 5.  Make a Christmas present for someone you love. 6.  Color a happy Christmas picture. 7.  Do a secret good deed for a member of your family. 8.  Write a letter to Santa. 9.  Read a favorite Christmas story. 10. Mail a Christmas card to a relative or friend. 11. Pass along a holiday smile to everyone you see today! 12. Make a card or gift for a special teacher. 13. Make and decorate a plate of Christmas cookies. 14. Sing a favorite Christmas song. 15. Make a Christmas ornament and hang it on the tree. 16. Wrap a present and put it under the tree. 17. Pretend you’re one of Santa’s helpers and be a helper all day long in your family! 18. Write a love note to a special friend. 19. Call your grandparents on the telephone. 20. Draw a picture of the Nativity Scene. 21. Secretly deliver a gift to a needy family. 22. Go Christmas caroling. 23. Bake a treat for Santa and his reindeer. 24. Act out the Nativity Story.

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