Monday, November 30, 2015

Why No Shared Advent Plans Yet?

Lately, I have been working into the wee hours nightly on our Advent plans for this year.  I so wanted to have them ready before Thanksgiving for myself and a day or two later for you.  But, that just did not happen.  Plans for the first week have been completed with great detail, but not yet in a shareable form. Plans for the rest of the weeks are 75% or more done, so not quite ready to share.

So, until I can share some or all of my plans, I thought I would share what's been keeping me from finishing what I set out to do:  LIVING!

Pre-Advent was full here. Advent's kick off has been, too.  That pause Advent asks us to take, then, will be a welcome change of pace here.

The busyness, though, isn't bad either.  As the snapshots I took today evidence, such busyness can include a balance of prayer, practicality, mercy, and merriment and, in effect, kick off the new liturgical year quite well.

Upon waking, after some personal prayer time and time with the Best Advent Ever, I began to get supplies ready for our annual Happy New Liturgical Year celebrations, with the added celebration of Mike's birthday.  Nina helped prepare, too.

Luke was sad when he realized the file he'd worked on for Dad's present had not been saved, but held it together and spent his first waking moments re-making Daddy's birthday coupons.  The kids so enjoyed gifting Daddy with colorings, coupons, and cash at breakfast.

{Note:  Some of the links that follow are affiliate ones.  Should you make a purchase - any purchase - after clicking through them, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you.  We appreciate this income, however tiny it is.}At breakfast, we donned our party hats, introduced the Wisemen Adventures, chatted about Advent, read Joy to the World, and more.  Then, we had our annual Liturgical New Year parade.

As our first Work of Mercy for the new liturgical year the kids brought canned goods to donate at Mass.  Luke served on the altar.  We stayed after to journal, pick up a Christmas Giving Tree tag, and get a baby bottle to fill with change over the season.

We slipped in a library stop to return books and a pause at home before then heading out to a favorite restaurant to celebrate Daddy's birthday.

Back home, we paused and prepped more.  Among the prep, the kids helped me make beeswax Advent candles after watching Holy heroes Advent Adventures. It was out first year making such candles and we quite enjoyed it.  (They are on sale now!)

Meanwhile, Dad was taking his day of rest with the Steelers game on.  During a commercial, he blessed our Advent wreaths.

The kids enjoyed playing with a new nativity set (which happens to still be on sale!)

Nina also worked hard, with a little help from Luke, to make our Advent Chain.

When she was done, we hung it up, removed the first link, and, appropriately (since it is still the month of the Holy Souls) ended up getting a link about praying for the dead.

Festivities wound down with readings from Scripture, placing our first Jesse Tree ornament, lighting our Advent wreath candles, and reading the first chapter of Jotham's Journey (which is on sale now!) Then, after tidy time and a reading of The Nativity, it was prayer time and a late bed.

And that is just the highlights of what was a full and fulfilling start to our Advent season.

Whether your Advent began with busyness or pause, I pray it is already filled with blessings.


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