Tuesday, December 4, 2007

today's Advent activity: pretending to be Mary

I didn't plan today's Advent activity.

I did plan day one: on Sunday I wrapped Christmas presents with my twenty-month-old son, letting him play with one of his stocking stuffers in lieu of the scissors. I got it all done, and I'm glad I did it so early because I was horribly sore by the end of the night! I think that sitting on the floor leaning over for a couple of hours straight taping packages closed is not something very pregnant women out to do. But I'm only going to get more pregnant, so I'm glad I did it now.

On day two, we just got out a few Christmas books and read them; well, one Christmas book and an Advent book. Pretty low-key, but that was nice after day one.

Day three now . . . day three was my three-year-old's idea. Bess wanted to be Mary, and was draping her blankets around her head "to look a little bit like Mary". I was the one who thought of securing her blanket to her head with a nice, stretchy headband, and our activity for day three of Advent was born. She drafted her little brother to play Joseph, though as he wouldn't tolerate the headgear his role mostly consisted of being told by his older sister, "You're Joseph, okay?"

But you know what? Playing Mary turned out to be a GREAT Advent game. Every time she told me that she was Mary, I asked her something about the Christmas story. Who was Mary? What did she say when the angel told her what God wanted her to do? And we talked about how Mary said she'd do what God wanted her to do, and how we ought to say, "Yes, Lord!" when God wanted us to do something. And how Joseph obeyed an angel's orders too.

One of Bess' own questions was, "Why is it good to play Mary during Advent?" Well, I hadn't thought of an answer to that one, because up until today, I hadn't even considered "playing Mary" an Advent game. But here's what I came up with: "Because playing Mary gives us a chance to talk about the Christmas story, and the Christmas story reminds us of how much God loves us. He loved us so much He sent His Son to save us from our sins."

So, if you're looking for a good Advent game to play with your kids, and they're in the middle of that hyper-imaginative stage, when they're always being fairies or bus drivers or doctors, trying playing Mary for awhile instead.

Or, if you like, try what we've planned for tomorrow: playing sheep. (You know, the ones that were watched in flocks by night?) I can't wait to hear what conversations come out of that one.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

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