Sunday happened to be the day we were stranded at my mom's house during our flooding but she has the very same advent candle holder or Aadventsleuchter as me so during dinnertime we set it on the table and lit the first candle starting our journey of filling our hearts with the joy of the season and getting ready for baby Jesus' birthday :)
Over the past several years I have slowly been moving our family further away from the hub bub of purchasing mass amounts of unnecessary gifts and the focus on santa and what he is going to bring us. Instead of all that we think of all the good deeds we can do for others during the holiday season and what special handmade gifts we can make for one another. One of the books that I love to pull out for inspiration on scriptures to read, craft ideas and ways to make Christmas even more special is Celebrate with Joy by Sondra Burnett. I've had it for a quite a few years and while I've read it over and over many times I always find something new to add to our festivities :)
This year I thought it would be fun to make our own advent countdown calendar since everyone is old enough now to wield a needle and thread *grin*. I've been cutting out little felt hearts, stars, gingerbread men, trees and more and we've been stitching them together and filling them with a bit of wool stuffing every afternoon. I have a few more that I'm going to finish up tomorrow and we'll have them all ready for the first of December.
In the coming days I'm looking forward to sharing stories with the children about St. Nicholas to and how he gave selflessly to others without any expectation of receiving something in return and I have a big baking party in the works. Every December there is a seniors dinner at our community hall that is open for everyone to come down and enjoy and if you are home bound you can also have a meal delivered right to your door. How great is that! So I thought it would be fun for us to bake cookies for the dessert portion of the meal that can be taken home and enjoyed later and it is something that even my 5 year old can do and feel really proud of himself for helping with :)
I just love this time of the year *grin*. I just pulled out my stash of hot cocoa and am looking forward to crafting and sipping it in front of the fire with the children. They don't know it yet but I'm going to set aside a few special nights for each of them to spend some one on one gift making time with me to so that if any of them needs help finishing or making a gift they can do that after the others have gone to bed. What child doesn't love staying up later to work on secret projects :)
What do you have planned for the holiday season? Also hop over to Frontier Dreams to read more lovely entries others have shared about this week's advent.