Yesterday marked the first Sunday of Advent. It snuck up on me this year, but I love Advent and since I set my bar quite low, I figured we would jump in and celebrate with nearly no preparation. If you, like me, haven’t made elaborate plans, I assure you there is no need. Just take a breath, relax, and celebrate Advent in a way that brings your family joy.
I shared most of this post a few years ago, and as I read through it again, I realized it still speaks clearly to me of how we embrace Advent as a family. I hope it encourages you.
I love everything about Advent – anticipating the coming of Christ, the candles, scripture readings that tell the story of Jesus, and the children around the table, candlelight glowing on their faces. Jesus came because we need Him – once lost, we can be found in Him, and Advent leads us deeper into that knowledge.
Our Advent traditions are simple, if they weren’t we would never do them. Despite the best intentions, complicated plans don’t go well with our life.
First, I gather five candles. On a good year there will be three purple, one pink, and one white candle. Many years, I have simply used the white candles we usually have on our dinner table.
Not too much blogging going on because I’m trying to get all of my Christmas shopping done this weekend. I enjoy finding gifts for my family, but not when shopping drags all the way through Advent and my attitude grows sour. This weekend, I’m still having fun, so I’m pressing on.
I’ve made quite a few purchases on Amazon and just used the “Take an Extra 30% Off One Book” deal a few minutes ago. Don’t miss it if you plan to buy a book; the deal expires Dec. 1st.
I was going to post a Tuesday Topic this morning, but I’ve learned that during holidays we are all so busy, not many people have time to respond. Rather than have a low response to an important question, I thought I would ask my questions.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Any special traditions you can share with us?
Are you going shopping in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday? Are you going to stay home in your jammies and shop online?
Usually I do my best to have a blog post up early Monday morning. Today, it just wasn’t happening. We are in the thick of helping Ladybug push through the end of her big Share Thanksgiving project and we needed to sit down and organize the next few days.
Today she is picking up donations from Safeway and finding a few more volunteers to cook turkeys. Tomorrow we’ll head to Costco for last minute things – like 800 pats of butter and 16 cans of whipped cream.
Wednesday evening we’re serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to 250 people. Thankfully, Ladybug has organized a crew of volunteers to help. She also has 50 homemade pies being delivered by people who have volunteered to bake.
The project is not finished yet, but I can safely say that Share Thanksgiving has been a faith building, formative experience. Ladybug is not one to do anything small – she’s a “the bigger the better” kind of girl, and we love her for it.
Do you need ideas for gifts? In my nearly 27 years of mothering, I’ve seen many toys come and go. As the holidays approach, I hope I can offer some helpful suggestions. Some toys with longevity are expensive, while others cost nearly nothing or can easily be found at thrift stores and yard sales. You might want to put these on your “watch list.”
Here we go!
Last summer Ladybug went to a youth conference where she was given a challenge – to feed 500 families Thanksgiving dinner through a combination of a food drive and a meal served to the poor of our community. She came home very excited – I nearly passed out. My faith wasn’t as strong as hers in that moment, all I could see were the obstacles.
But Ladybug was undaunted. In the last two months she has made countless phone calls, had numerous meetings, and enlisted the help of many people. Our family is committed to seeing this project through – if one of us is called to something big, we’re all called to help.
The food drive is in full swing with boxes in businesses, churches, and a competition going between rival high schools. Now she is focusing her energy on the community meal where she hopes to provide Thanksgiving dinner to 250 people. She is raising funds for the food, venue, decorations to make it lovely, and even crafts for the kids.
If you would like to help, you can make a secure donation to her cause at Share Thanksgiving. If you live near, how about baking a pie or two (or five)? Or join us as we peel piles of potatoes.
Read about Share Thanksgiving in her own words.
I’m up, dressed, and in possession of a serious sleep-deprivation headache. Yesterday was one of those crazy, only made it “by the skin of my teeth” kinds of days. I ran from appointment to appointment, and finally landed at our friends’ house at 6:30 for a wild and crazy, open house, kids running in and out, doorbell ringing, chili potluck. Russ had this third spine injection (for a disc that burst open and landed us in the ER not long ago) and never made it to the party. Thankfully, Isaiah drove him to Coeur d’Alene, so he just had to come home and rest.