The Season is upon us and who here isn’t thrilled that Advent doesn’t start Thanksgiving Weekend this year! This girl, I’ll tell you who.
That being said I have learned that the best way for me to enjoy Advent is to get as much done before that first Sunday. Advent is meant to be a prayerful and reflective time, it’s so much more than Christmas prep.
So as I’ve done the last few years I try to get as much shopping done beforehand. So far it’s worked because my kids have either been too young to know they request specific things or pretty consistent with their “want” list that I can make purchases ahead of time. So at the moment I just need to take the kids out to get things for their Dad, finish some photobooks and get stocking stuffers and just wait for the last of the Amazon Prime boxes to arrive. Then I have a month to wrap stuff up and get it out of the closet.
But I digress and this is about Advent, not Christmas Prep – only that getting all that out of the way means I’m not stressing about it in the month of Advent.
For myself I’ll be enjoying some Winter Music thanks to some Spotify playlists, my Blessed is She Advent Devotional written by my wonderful friend Laura and an Anne Thomas Ellis book I’ve been saving “Inn at the Edge of the World”.
We’ll be doing some feast days in there – our favorites are St. Nicholas, St. Lucy and Our Lady of Guadalupe. We get really fancy for these days, and by really I mean not very. We do a small gift, chocolate coins and a new Christmas Book for St. Nicholas (I’m just doing one joint book this year because we already have a bunch and it’s easier – yay new “traditions”). We’ll do cinnamon rolls or something Swedish-esque for dinner for St. Lucy’s. We’ll do Tacos for Our Lady… our maybe Churro’s for Our Lady. Should we make Guacamole for Gaudalupe a thing? I’ve still got time to figure out something witty, yet simple.
We’ll do our Straw for Baby Jesus again. I love this tradition because it’s only about doing good deeds – we don’t tie it to getting presents or a reward. We just do good things and see a representation of those things.
I’ve learned over the years I both love and loathe doing crafts at home. Love the idea, hate the work. So this year I farmed this out to Ye Ol’ Oriental Trading Company and found these, these, and these for a steal. So I’ll get to pretend I’m some uber together Waldorf Inspired Nature Mama and don’t have to spend hours cutting out detailed scenes from black cardstock anymore. Live and learn.
I’ve also farmed out a bit of our Religious Education to the Traders of the Orient and purchased one of their Jesse Tree Sticker projects. I’ve wanted to add a Jesse Tree to our celebrations for a few years, and this seems our level right now. Plus, if it doesn’t fit our Advent we didn’t invest a ton to begin with.
One new thing I want to try to do with our oldest is read “The Christmas Carol” together as our read aloud that month. I love this story and one Christmas Ben and I stayed up and read it out loud together and it’s one of my favorite memories. I’d love for us to read through it together this year.
Other than all that we’ll have the usual – our Christmas books, our Advent Wreath and traditional Advent Calendar and this is one of the first years I look at all of that and think…. that almost sound manageable.