Looking for some advent inspiration? Want to do some clicking around?
Here's the best I have to offer:
Comfort and Joy is like an Advent Toolbox. There are lots of ideas for things to make and food to bake and goodness to create. Tangible, touchable, tactile traditions are waiting there to become yours. None of us will every do them all in one season, but there are more than enough from which to choose to find something that suits you and your family. Truly though, in Comfort and Joy, there are more quiet moments than active ones. There are short meditations that don't require too much time on your part, but keep you grounded every day in the waiting of the season. And there are essays of encouragement--every day a whisper into your womanhood that acknowledges that this season isn't easy, but it is rich. There's more: opportunity for community if you want it, printables to keep you organized, a podcast to focus your prayer life and encourage your self-care strategy. It's all here.
By the Manger in the Morning is a movement underfoot in the community of Blessed is She. It's a daily journal of scripture and prayer, a quiet focused few moments each day that will nourish you with strength and grace aplenty. It's not too late to journey with us. A digital version of the sold-out bound version is on sale here. Just be sure to print the pages back-to-back and fold. It's never too late to jump in!
How to pull your children into the season? In our house, we begin with some well-chosen pictures books. There are some detailed lists from which to choose here.
Advent and Christmas are wonderful opportunities for giving heirloom books. Over the years, we have gathered many, many books into our family's library. This list is a great one to print off and take to the library or to send to grandparents or godparents who might want ideas for gifts.
I think it's safe to call something a classic when it's been around for more than 20 years and it's going strong in its second generation. When my big boys were little, I created a way to homeschool through Advent--hitting all the important things like reading and writing and research--while making Advent the subject of study for everything. we put "regular school" aside for the season and we learned a whole lot in a very meaningful way. In years since, we've employed this strategy every year in lots of different iterations. But this was the first all-encompassing Advent unit. It's a way to relax into the season, embracing all its richness, instead of making Advent an add-on.
Here's a way to explore the cultural traditions of Christmas around the world.
We remember that the prayers of the Church associated with this season are devotions and not potions. They work on our souls and bring us closer to God. So, it's not late to jump in even if you missed the beginning. We love the St. Andrew Christmas novena. You can learn a little about it here and download a beautiful free printable for a reminder.
My oldest daughter is my youngest daughter's godmother. Last year, unbeknownst to me, she resolved to do something special with and for her every day. She left her a note for her to find every morning, with a little chocolate and an idea for something to do together that day. This year, she gathered all the notes and ideas and resources in to an editable document to share.
Tuck away a book or two for this fun Epiphany idea.