Last Minute Advent Ideas

Advent chaos. It gets to the last day of November and I am overwhelmed by all of the fabulous things I have not done in preparation for advent. Decorations, Jesse tree and a new and inventive advent calendar….. So here are some last minute ideas I have been collecting on Pinterest. The last one is for the grown ups!
 Variations on the small paper bag theme are endless. Find some great advent readings online and print them out and add a small treat.
 Super fast way to reuse your muffin tray!

 If you are good with a hot glue gun and spray paint, here is the peg and board idea.

Covered rolls are simple and fun, especially if you are trying to theme your Xmas decorations and use natural products – linen, brown paper and string.
 This idea is super cute and one I can imagine leaving up after the event.

More paper bags – it is all in the way you hang them. Different lengths add visual interest and caters for small kiddies and slightly older teens wanting to participate.

Really simple use of newspaper and wash tape. Possibilities are endless here, but I like their uniform size and shape. Find a great box or container to hold them all.

 I am sure you have seen this one on social media. Advent for grown ups. You could substitute anything really for the wine. Boutique beers, small bottles from the mini bar,  a new coffee bean or cordial favour?
Here is hoping you get your Advent ideas organised today.
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Easter is Coming

I found these little guys last week. They were just chilling in a store, waiting to be bought. It reminded me that Easter is coming, that in what seems to be a blink of an eye the major stores have gone from Christmas cheer to Easter extravaganza. The decorations, chocolates, gifts and cards are everywhere.

We have a family tradition of celebrating Christmas by preparing for the day with a series of Advent readings and fun candy induced activities with the children. We have had less success with establishing an Easter tradition. Some of you will have given up something for lent, or maybe you are doing something and paying it forward as a way of remembering the Easter story. I think we are still distracted by the year starting that I haven’t quite noticed that it is almost three months in.

How do you prepare for Easter with your family? Are you creating something special? Do you bake? Do you gather with your family and friends? Looking forward to hearing about your ideas.

Feeling good…

Well my my, I think this is one of the first years I have managed to do a complete overhaul of the Christmas shopping and wrap presents for all the cousins and small people. There is still a lot to do. My man asked me if he could help – nah, not really. He has also asked if I need to do all the Christmas jobs I set myself. Like Christmas baking, making an advent calendar, plan a family Advent activity, prepare cards and notes and handmade gifts for teachers, music teachers, ballet teachers, rowing coaches, the crossing lady and so on. Well, I think the answer is yes.

Christmas is about Jesus’ birth. One day a year I can go for the whole “let me tell you about Jesus” thing with abandon. I need to make the most of this opportunity and help to encourage friends, family and community to SLOW down as we rest and reflect on why Jesus’ birth is so special. That makes me feel good.

Growing up without advent

Perhaps you grew up without advent just like me. We celebrated Christmas with gusto – tree, santa, presents and good food. But the whole concept of advent is about preparation, an anticipation of what is to come…..and I don’t remember the deliberate, thoughtful consideration of Christ at Christmas. Maybe we thought it was too Catholic, at the very least too ritualistic. But as I grow in years I grow in the knowledge that whatever I can do to help my children anticipate Christ’s birth is a blessing.
This season of Advent is of course about the coming of the person and work of Jesus. And how I make this a reality for my children is the challenge.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14.
The intention behind recognizing Advent is  to think about:

promise, rebellion, sin, death, deliverance, anticipation, preparation, hope, joy and the second coming of Jesus.


So….we have talked about preparing our home for a guest to visit and making it tidy and clean, a welcoming place to be and spend time. And we have considered how it would be for the guest and indeed for our family if we had not made the bed or tidied our space to receive company? How much more should we be preparing our hearts for celebrating  Jesus’ birth?

So one aspect of Advent is about PREPARATION.

This is ADVENT………be THANKFUL

I love this retro cool looking bible verse that I found on a Mars Hill blog. I know they posted it for Thanksgiving but I have been struck by how much there is to give thanks for each day, especially as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth this Christmas. Although I am a few days late I thought I would post most days about HOW our advent reflections are progressing. You may recall we have used the Jesse Tree and a handmade gift advent calendar to help us read the bible and pray together as a family, in previous Advent seasons.
This year I have a combo of strategies to help keep the almost teenager down to the toddler entertained and engaged. What are you doing this advent? I would love to hear about it…….