Yesterday, Christian tried to persuade me to take down the curtains in the living room. We were shooting a trailer to show you some details on In the Morning by the Manger. He said the curtains weren't really Christmas-y enough. I reminded him it's an Advent devotional, not a Christmas book. He said Advent was about Christmas. From there, we dissolved into an observation about mall Christmas decorations before Halloween.
This is not that.
These next few days on this blog might seem a little like walking into Macy's before Thanksgiving and discovering the North Pole has been dumped there, but I hope not. Advent is all about preparing for Christmas. Lots of times, though, we wake up after a two day turkey stupor on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and discover that if we're going to do some of those things we promised ourselves last year that we'd do "next Advent" we have exactly 18 hours to procure supplies.
This "Advent prep" week is about giving yourself a little more margin than that.
So let us begin to prepare to prepare.
One of our family's long held traditions is to open stocking gifts on St. Nicholas Day. I have a love-hate relationship with this tradition. I love it because it fits so nicely with the St. Nicholas story and because the stocking gifts usually include tree ornaments and Christmas craft supplies and other things that are useful during Advent. I also love it because thinking through nine stockings while nursing a newborn was a feat and if I could accomplish that feat and have everybody happy on December 6, I could check something huge off my Christmas list. It encouraged me right there at the beginning of Advent. I kind of hate it because, well, that post-Thanksgiving stupor and getting my act together quickly and all.
So, here I am to remind you that you have to fill stockings. And even if you're not a St. Nicholas stocking person, you might want to think about stashing the gold coins that appear at Trader Joe's right now to put in shoes for St. Nicholas day because I promise they won't be there on the night of December 5. I know of what I speak.
One of my favorite stuffers for both stockings and Easter baskets are the wooden peg dolls from St. Luke's Brush. They are probably the most loved toy over time in my house. We are all pretty attached to these beautiful wee friends.
On this All Saints Day--well before stocking stuffing time and in plenty of time to order and get yours--I'm happy to offer a St. Teresa doll to give away. Garry Brix, at St. Luke's Brush, does such a beautiful job with these. He's even done some incredible custom work if you have a saint who's a little off the beaten path.
To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment with your Advent goals AND your favorite St. Luke's Brush saint doll on this post. Let's start helping each other. Then...
Today is All Saints Day. It's the perfect day to peruse the St. Luke's Brush site and choose some saints for your family. It's all the more perfect because your foresight will be rewarded with a coupon for 10% off.
See? You're well on your way to having your act together for Advent. Tomorrow, we'll talk Advent books.