Monday, November 24, 2014

Advent Plans & This Years Simple Season Calendar!

I have to keep reminding myself that there is a quick turn around between Thanksgiving and Advent again this year.  I'm glad I have last years posts to remind me how helpful it was to have everything planned out in advanced and my notes from the end of the season to remind me what worked and what didn't.

Here's what Advent might looking at Casa Make Do this year:

Advent Wreaths and Advent Countdowns/Calendar:
I'm hoping to find fresh greens this year instead of the plastic I have been using.
Still planning on doing the countdown on the mantel, but also found a window Advent calendar to open each day.
Our Saints are from Armadillo Dreams, and I have it on good authority they will be in stock soon!
Our very simple countdown - no chocolates or presents, you just get to put a bookmark on the string ;)

Advent Candles:
We're trying out this set from Toadily Handmade this year


Feast Days:
We'll be doing a new Christmas books and treats in shoes for St. Nicholas Day - our observance of St. Nicholas/Santa Clause has developed into a person who comes to remind us what Christmas is about and I'm really liking that.
I'd like to observe a few more Feast Days this year - St. Lucy's, the Immaculate Conception and O.L. of Gaudalupe, Las Posadas, etc.  Most likely these will be rather simple - a particular meal or book to read, nothing more.

I'd like to work something with the O Antiphons into this year, but I'm still not sure what - Suggestions welcome!

Activities:
 I'm actually glad that most of the events and concerts are over before Christmas this year.  It'll be nice to have more down time closer to the end of Advent.  We don't limit ourselves to the activities that others throw and host - no need to be a scrooge!  Though this year I will again try to stick to Advent and instrumental Christmas music and hold off as long as I can with the really fun stuff (I'm allowed to cheat on this though).

Learning About the Season:
We had a lot of success over lent with Henry doing a bean jar for good deeds that turned into jelly beans on Easter, so I think we're going to try out putting straw in the manger for Baby Jesus this year.  We have a little wooden toy stable that I think I'll reserve for the manger and some spare yarn I've been wanting to use up.

Santa will set up our Nativity for Christmas morning again this year.

Preparation:
One of the big things I did this year was to get Christmas presents purchased before Advent - other than some baking, and few bits of goodies for stockings I'm done.  It's all up in my closet and while it felt silly starting to think of Christmas in September and October I'm glad I did it.

Decoration:
I think we'll continue with putting up the tree on Gaudete Sunday with just lights and slowly decorating while hanging up our  Advent countdown on the mantle and putting up decorations on Christmas Eve. 
*edit Feast of the Immaculate Conception is December 8th
Christmastide:
Christmas Eve and Day will be just like most others - Mass on Christmas Eve, presents (still doing our 3 gift rule) on Christmas Day and lots of time with family.

I'd love to observe St. Stephen's/Boxing Day in some way, but also still figuring that one out.

The Feast of the Holy Innocents and Holy Family will be a simple observance.

I really liked making Orange Birdfeeders with Henry on New Years Day last year, so I want to try to do the same this year.
 

Epiphany we'll do our new tradition of spice cookies and making stars to decorate.

It worked out well last year to have some decorations left to put up after Christmas Day - thank you Polar Vortex - but it was fun to have things left to do afterwards as well.



Tools of the Trade:


  

   

Last years Advent book of stories was kind of bust, so I'm thinking of trying out:
Any reviews out there?

As for plans around here - I'm thinking I'll do like last year, lots of picture postcard posts, maybe a few more gift and book lists (I do love compiling them) and in general focusing on being present through the holidays a little more than I am right now.

*I'm an Affiliate for Amazon and Holy Heroes, but all these are all things I've purchased with my own money and opinions are my own. *

Hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving!  I'll be back next week with an updated holiday Booklist!

7 comments:

  1. I always miss when Armadillo Dreams has Saints! I'll have to check in often this year to catch them. I love that you share what you do. So many ideas for us since we don't really have any traditions yet (Eeek!).

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    1. Yes! I emailed him a few days ago and he didn't give me a date, but I'm guessing after Thanksgiving =)

      Take what you like and make it your own! I think it's taken us four years to really feel like we've found what works for us.... and it's changing all the time!

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  2. Great ideas! I love having St. Nicholas' day traditions, and spreading out the celebration of Christmas well past Christmas day :0). Does your three-gift rule have categories (like the want-need-wear-read thing)?

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    1. Not yet, this year it's just toys for our 3.5 year old... but you did read my mind. Since we do a book for St. Nicholas Day I was thinking that starting next year that the 3 gifts might be the want/need/wear categories just to keep the toys to minimum in the future.

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  3. Oh good–I was thinking I was the only parent who didn't incorporate treats as part of the Advent countdown. ;) Good for you for having Christmas shopping done! I've mostly got gift ideas set, so I figure that's half the battle, but I hope to get most of them purchased soon so I can focus more on Advent and less on stressing about presents!

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  4. I always loved celebrating the Feast of St. Nick when I was a kid! I finally got it together enough to do it for my own kids last year. Looking forward to doing it again:)

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  5. My kids are 8, 6, and 3. Last year was the first year we used 24 Christmas Stories for Little Ones, and I really liked it. They are very short stories but have a great message. Even the older kids enjoyed them. We also read 24 Christmas Stories to Welcome Jesus, which is geared towards my older two. They are still perfectly short to read one a day for advent but have a tad more substance for the older kids. Love all the Magnificat books actuall. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/24-Christmas-Stories-Welcome-Jesus/dp/158617648X

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