I mentioned Simple Mom in my last post, and today she reminds us to get working on preparations for Advent. Advent often sneaks up on me, so suddenly after Thanksgiving, that we either are left foregoing most of it or I have to shop frantically for materials. The Jesse Tree is something we have done in the past that the children enjoyed- but it does take some advance planning. And why can I never find pink and purple candles for my Advent wreath? Perhaps I should be looking for those now instead of the day after Thanksgiving.
Another thing we've done to celebrate the holidays: Jeff's mother had a miniature fisherman's basket ornament that she had given him as a teen. It's about 4x4x3", and I set it on the table centerpiece near the Advent wreath (or not, if I didn't find candles that year), with some strips of paper and a pencil. The family is encouraged to write down answers to prayer and "blessinglist" people (who we pray will accept Jesus as Lord), and then put those papers, rolled up scroll-like, into the basket. Each year, we take them out and read them- sometimes "blessinglist" people are turned into "answers to prayer" and we keep those slips in there, to remember the ways God has answered our prayers over the years.
(the picture above is our family Christmas portrait from 1999)
Here is another Advent resource I stumbled upon today after starting at Simple Mom's blog: