I bought a beautiful hand crafted advent garland:
My idea was to fill it with a little treat, and a message or story or scripture for every day to open. I had these wonderful ideas of intimate family moments remembering the real reason we like to celebrate this season - the birth of Jesus. But my family of boys (and men!) much prefer their Star Wars Lego advent calendar. And all of a sudden it's December 2nd and I still haven't had a chance to fill up the pockets, my ideal having been deflated by those around me.
Then I read about the December advent traditions of another family in town - a song and scripture and story and craft each day, and a service opportunity as well. As I read, I felt a twinge in my heart knowing that that is exactly what I had in mind. But then I had to remind myself - she has a family of 5 daughters. Girls. And as much as we try in today's society to claim that there are no differences between girls and boys, it simply isn't true. (At least in my experience.)
And so I suppose I must adapt my ideas. My boys don't love crafts, and they don't have stars in their eyes when I try and gather them to sit still for a spiritual thought. But that doesn't mean I have to throw this teaching moment out the window. I just have to change it a little. Make it more energetic, more hands on, more get-in-the-mud-and-get-dirty. I see shovelling snow instead of baking cookies, and carolling instead of letter writing.
As a mother of boys I am being stretched every day. But I've always been up for a challenge!