Friday, December 1, 2017

7 Complicated Advent Preps

So, it's farewell to The Glorious Turkey and all the gourds and pumpkins, and hello to all the Advent stuff!

The thing to keep in mind is that we have now been doing the Advent thing with kids for 20 years.  In the beginning, I was looking for Advent stuff to do that would be meaningful, helpful, and fun.

Now we have the weight of Tradition, as well as the "need" to have 6 small things to do each day so each kid can do an Advent thing each day. Also, I've done it so long, it's easy for me.

Do what I did: if it looks like fun, and not too much work, try it.  If it doesn't, smile and nod.

This is what it looks like for us.

Kid 1: Open a door on the Advent House.  Inside, there are 6 pieces of candy, and a Playmobil Advent piece to put in the stable.

Yeah, the sheep is in the attic.  The kid decides where to put it.

Kid 2: Find and place the Jesse Tree ornament while I read the scripture passages.

You can find all sorts of sources for Jesse Tree scripture and ornaments.  My set are from an ornament swap organized years ago by my friend Jolene - this means I have a set of cool and creative ornaments while only having had to come up with one good idea.

As they've broken or gotten lost, we've been replacing them with shrinky dinks.  Not as cool, but doable.

Kid 3: Opens the day's flap on the paper calendar.

I thought we would reuse last year's 3D calendar, pictured here on the fish tank, but, at the last minute, they decided to go with a round one I had on hand.

Kid 4: Lights and blows out the Advent candles and does the felt calendar.

Back in the day, it was just blowing out the candles, you know, before we trusted the kids with producing fire!

Kid 5: Chooses a book to unwrap.

We have way to many Advent and Christmas books, so I just wrap 25 of our favorites in tissue paper.  The rest are loose in the other box.

Most are religious, but some are secular, and you never quite know what you are picking!

I've found it's a good way to make sure we actually get to all of them.  As an extra bonus, it's good training for how to politely receive and unwrap gifts, as well as what to do with the paper afterwards...
Kid 6: Chooses and places an ornament.

This is one of the favorite Advent tasks!

They aren't tree ornaments, they are decorations.  It's a lovely, no stress way to decorate, and I love it that the house gets slowly more decorated as Advent goes on!

Kid 7: Well, there is no 7 to do another task, but we all do little acts of love and kindness to soften our hearts for Baby Jesus' arrival.

That's our crib (next to Love, our parakeet!), and we put a piece of hay in every time we pray, sacrifice, or make  little act of love.

Extra bonus: If you don't have time for a complicated Advent, here's yesterday's Easy Advent Prep:
A Christmas Kit

More Advent stuff with Kelly and the Quick Takers (sounds like a band...).

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