I humbly submit these three weird things as practices you ought to add to your Advent. Because I’m no good at Jesse trees but can just about manage these.
- Visit your elderly neighbors unannounced.
They’re lonely, and they might help you enjoy your kids when you’re worn out, by reminding you that your kids are, in fact, enjoyable people. I’m not someone who feels super comfortable just popping in, but I want to be the kind of person who is. And last winter while we were visiting an elderly wheelchair-bound woman down the street, I accidentally left the Advent candles burning and the house didn’t burn down, so I like to think Jesus tacitly approved.
- Clean out your car.
Make straight the paths and vacuum out those Cheerios. Even add a piney air freshener if you’re among the smelling. You’ll likely be caravanning someplace or other this Advent, and you’ll be a lot less cranky if snow melt isn’t puddling on months’ worth of discarded books and jackets and fast food wrappers.
- Make crayon snowflakes.
I mean, in general, this is a good season to purge the toys, and stuff in general, but while you’re at it, gather up all your crayon nubs and those awful, waxy crayons you compulsively pocket at restaurants (just me?) and melt them together to make big rainbow crayons your kids can give to friends. It’s baking, without having to fuss at how they’re not measuring carefully enough! It’s cleaning, but with a pretty result! We use this mold, which I bought last year for an unsuccessful experiment in compound butter, and the lowest setting our oven can manage.