We began our advent season by our family sharing a cold. We laid around the house all day yesterday, ate an early dinner of soup, gave the kids a bath, and all four of us got in bed a little before 7. And we stayed in bed until a little after 7 this morning. And still, when I awoke, I felt sore and tired. It was a much needed rest, however.
Although I don’t particularly enjoy being ill, I am usually thankful for the “forced” break.
Not much will make me unplug and leave the house a mess and just go to bed and breathe deep in rest.
This is our first year attempting to create a tradition for our family of observing advent. My husband and I stayed up planning ideas for the family over the past week. We kept coming up with more ideas and were running out of time to get it together. We finally decided that we can always add more, so we are trying to embrace simplicity within this. I found this resource online for readings. They are short and simple for young ears and I like the progression.
We don’t have a “real” nativity set, but somewhere we picked up this empty stable in the past.
I pulled it out and each day am just finding things from around the house to add to it to copy the suggestions in the readings. Today we added a little lego bush. We have miniature toy animals and wooden peg people we will add later on. The kids find a new envelope under or near the tree every morning, and we do whatever is inside of it (reading, new object for nativity, activity for the day, craft supplies, etc.). My Grandma also sent them a simple advent calendar, and they will be adding ornaments to a felt tree each day (if I get around to cutting out some more ornaments).
In years past, I have gotten more “pinteresty” around the house, but this year, I don’t want to do much. I love holiday decorations as much as the next person, but I am finding a deeper desire to embrace more of a simple and clutter free space to allow for the anticipation of what Christmas will bring.
The few decorations around the house are there to simply remind us of the season, focus our attention on the gifts we have already received and what we are able to offer others, and also to add to the excitement for my children.
We found this little pre-lit tree out in our garage – our landlord was going to just toss it away, so I saved it and the kids decorated it with some plastic ornaments we already had. Shea also excitedly hung some stockings up, because he found these old ones in our bin. I made new ones last year, since it was Hailey’s first Christmas, and these don’t hold up very well to having things in them. The kids will hang up their “real” stockings on Christmas eve.
Our first Advent Sunday candle-lit dinner we are doing tonight, along with a reading and a family activity.
Last night, we were all too tired to do it. I found some purple beeswax tapers at our local grocery store. One is supposed to be pink, so we will tie a simple pink ribbon around it.
Do you celebrate this season of expectation? What are you looking forward to the most this year? Is there any area you can simplify in to help reduce stress and focus on the true gifts of the season?