If you have been following my writing for a while, you will know that I LOVE Advent. Each year I plan out intentional ways for me and my family to mark this season and celebrate to the full. (You can read more of my advent posts from previous years here.) This year is going to look very different. Next week, I am having shoulder surgery and will be very limited in function for many weeks. In the midst of trying to get through the everyday challenges this will bring, I don't want to miss the opportunity to celebrate Advent. This is especially important to me for the sake of my daughter. Every year we make memories together over our Advent activities. Her little world is being turned upside down and I want to provide some fun and stability in the midst of it all.
My previous years' plans have been jam-packed at times. This year, I have had to consider what is most important in this season and what will be achievable, without losing the real meaning of why we celebrate. Maybe you are wanting to look at celebrating Advent but feel lost as to where to begin. Maybe you feel overwhelmed at all the other events you have coming up but want to be intentional in having some focus on Advent in the midst of it. Maybe my plans will help you to find one thing to try this year.
(You will find an Advent planner template for download below to help you to figure out what your Advent will look like this year.)
If you have young children, I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is an inclusion every year for us and will be part of our plans again this year. If you have the time, the craft activities included for each day are easy to make and so worth it. If you are like me and needing to keep it completely simple this year, there are printable ornaments that can be coloured in and even a printable tree to stick them on. Click on any of the images below to purchase your own ebook and printable ornaments. (This is an affiliate link that gives me a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. It helps to support my writing.)
The Wonder of the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
I have treated our family to a new Advent book and it has a pop-up tree! Each day there is a family devotion and a little ornament to hang on the pop-up tree. I can't wait for this to arrive.
Most years we have included Kindness Angel activities as part of our Advent. This has been with the purpose of focusing on others in the midst of a season that can so quickly become about us. To be honest, I don't know if I will get to this. I am keeping this one as a plan in mind depending on how my recovery is going. It will take some creativity and extra planning to make happen as I will not be driving during this time. I encourage you to make a plan to include some sort of activity that draws your family's focus away from the busyness and commercialism that can take over and look at how you can bring joy to others.
In the past few years, I have used a personal Advent devotional for myself on top of what I do with my family. This year, I am giving myself grace. There are so many great options out there if you are wanting one for yourself.
No matter whether you have elaborate Advent plans or completely simple, they can be swallowed up in the busyness of this time of year. The planner below will help you to stop and think now and allow you to be intentional and prepared. Include events you want to attend together like Christmas parties, Carols in the Park or Christmas light viewing to make sure you don't miss any of them and make your plans achievable.
If you enjoyed the series from October, I've turned it into an ebook that includes an exclusive post not published anywhere else. Sign up below to receive your copy!