Preparing for Advent

I’m getting excited about the upcoming Advent season.  However, translating that enthusiasm into action takes concerted effort.  So I’m thinking about the preparations that have/can/should be done.  If you know me, you know that means, “Do I have a book about it?”  As a matter of fact, I do.  I didn’t have  Christmas Spirit last year, but ordered it ahead for this year.  (Amazon has 50 used copies, starting at 50 cents.)  Our morning poetry selections will come from this book.

When my sister visited, she strongly recommended this CD.  I put that on my queue, and got it in the mail a few weeks ago.  I was pleasantly surprised at the number of sacred texts she put to music.  It has a typical Windham Hill sound; it’s soothing background music.  Christmas music must have its own post – I’d love to share my favorites and hear yours.

Christmas stamps are usually available by the end of October.  Here’s a look at the upcoming ones.  Which one do you like?  I think the knits look cheesy, and am wavering between the Madonna and the Polar Lights. 

Ever since my garage sale find I’ve been waiting for the first Sunday of Advent to get these dishes out for use during the season. 

It makes sense to look for gifts now and spread the expenses across a few months.  Last year with a wedding a week before Christmas, we did a “gift card” Christmas.  I have to admit, the ease and escape from shopping was absolutely wonderful from my perspective.  But it doesn’t seem right to do that this year. I love to find a great “family” gift for our siblings that I can order online. 

I’ve already chosen my “bread and butter” gift for this year.  I have lots of canning jars pining away in my garage cabinets, and a large Costco-sized bag of baking cocoa.  I’m going to make cooked fudge topping and give it to the neighbors and families at church.  One Saturday of incredible smells in my kitchen should do it.

It’s funny: I hate when the retail stories “hurry” the holiday displays, but I don’t mind thinking about Advent in October in the comfort of my own home.  The music is both the best and worst aspect of Advent.  The tinny “I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus” is the biggest reason I avoid shopping during December.  But at home, with a candle and a cup of tea, I love the great music of the season.  More on music soon.

Are you thinking about this stuff yet?  Any suggestions?


8 thoughts on “Preparing for Advent

  1. Yes. At Target and Michael’s there are dollar bins near the front of the store which have lots of little things that make good stocking stuffers. I always look and get a few things when I’m there to stash away in my closet for Christmas stockings. My children think the stockings are better than the presents. I tried to get them to agree to just having stockings this year, but they didn’t go for it.

  2. Actually I had not thought about this yet………..although when my children were small, my plan was to have the shopping done by Thanksgiving.  It’s avoiding the crowds that prompts me to plan ahead.
    And so, I appreciate the nudge 🙂
    And the tip about Grant’s book.
    Blessings fm GA,Dana
    PS  Cant decide about the stamps yet…none of ’em really grab me.

  3. My dad would love this post – he absolutely loves Christmas!  When we were kids, he belonged to a Christmas Club through work where he got money taken out of his paycheck to go towards Christmas, so we always got nice gifts.  And one year recently, because his eyes have gotten so bad (diabetes) he mistakenly bought a sheet of Kwanzaa stamps!  Imagine his disgust at discovering this….since he usually gets his Christmas cards sent the week after Thanksgiving.I have to admit I have way too many Christmas boxes stacked in my extra room, mostly decor, but also some gifts bought after Christmas last year.  That’s my favorite trick to save money during the holidays.  Thanks for the “nudge.”

  4. I have some of those storage boxes for most of the Christmas stuff, but I also have the Advent box that is always, mostly always, out for Advent1. In it are selected favorite mugs for cocoa, the Veni, Veni, Emannuel blocks we made one year for a craft, any leftover special napkins from last year and of course the music, now it is cds, but it was tapes for many years.
    At the first of Advent I try to play classical Christmas music only, stuff that many wouldn’t recognise as Christmas. In our church there is a traditon that Advent is Advent and Christmas is not yet (It has its own season and starts on Christmas day! You know, the Twelve Days of Christmas!!)…So in our services we usually save Christmas hymns and carols for closer to the day (although this varies by pastors). There are many lovely Advent songs encouraging us to be in a state of watchfulness and expectation, as well as seeing the need for our Savior.
    In our home, in the best years, we delayed decorating the tree until just a couple of days before Christmas. Delaying the tree was very useful in keeping the kids thinking about Jesus and not the presents they will get. We have an Advent Wreath and light candles every night. When the kids were home this was a big thing, but now it is just us two, we have fallen down in these areas somewhat. Last year we delayed the tree so long we didn’t put one up.
    Sad but true, we spend Christmas with our folks in LaGrande and didn’t get a tree. This year is different. 🙂   I hope.

  5. i had a moment there, when i read about the fudge topping…my mouth actually started watering! And i love your dishes! Great find! i have to admit the most i’ve thought about Christmas thus far is to do the family drawing list for who will buy for who (there’s probably a “whom” in there somewhere, but i’ve never gotten that down.)

  6. I’ve been pondering Christmas as well since Advent begins sooner in the East (Nov. 15th).  I haven’t considered gifts yet- but I appreciate the nudge.  I would be nice to have it done by Nov. 15th so I can concentrate on other things.  But, I doubt I’ll be that organized!

  7. I have the Liz Story CD, but after reading your post, realized that it is probably lost in the recesses of my  mother’s basement.  I am going to have to try to do something about that before the season is upon us!

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