Saturday, December 1, 2012

Getting Ready and Preparing for Advent 2012


I have been really spending a lot of time preparing my home for Advent this year. I knew with a new baby in our home I would just need the extra time for planning, cleaning and prepping. I try to have all my shopping lists complete and most of the shopping done by the first Sunday of Advent.
I really can't believe that Thanksgiving is over! I feel a little more ready than in past years, but really we have also decided to not do as much as years in the past. I thought I would share with you are plans for this Advent, some new ideas and some older ideas that we have grown to love.
This year looks a lot like last year's Advent only this year we are not part of the Catholic Church so things have changed some.
If you look on my post from last year you can see the changes we have made this year. I am not going to type everything out again but I will share the changes and new ideas:)
I still think that we all need to spend time with our father in heaven every day, I miss going to Mass twice a week even three times if I feel really down. I how ever have the best church family anyone could ask for and am happy with our choice to leave. We spend almost the whole day at church on Sunday, not because we have to but because we want to. We have a choice to attend a bible study during the week, and I know that if I asked my Pastor he would open the doors to our church so I could sit in quietness and pray.
First thing is we will be spending a lot more time in prayer this year more than ever. Our country needs it more than ever and our children need to know how and why we do it. Our plan is to keep our church missionaries in our prayers all through Advent praying for a few new families each night and learning a little about what country they are in.
Larry and I will be giving each other more time each evening to pray alone and together!
Our Jesse Tree evenings will stay with us, something the whole family looks forward to each night!  We are a little funny about our Jesse tree sets since we know have 3 Jesse tree sets in our home!!  Our new set came from dear friends on line and I just love them. We have the set Larry and I made together over 5 years ago that was for the girls, and a new set we bought last year.
We will be traveling the world again from home learning about all the traditions of other countries that celebrate Christmas. We will eat way to much food and gain some weight as we taste foods from all these countries.
In our family my husband is the head of his house and his wishes are firm, no praying to the mother of Christ and please no praying to people that are no longer living. This made the Christmas month that much more focused on Christ, and not so focused on People who have passed that have nothing to do with Advent or Christmas. How the Lord has changed my heart in just one year, all I had to do was be still quiet and listen.
This is what we feel about the next Advent event we will celebrate, since it is a feast day in the Catholic Church. We will be celebrating St. Nicholas for the good things he has did and because my husband and children have both grown up with this we will be keeping this feast day in our home.
So, Dec 6th we will remember Nicholas of Myra for all the wonderful things they say he did while he was alive. On earth he could have been a saint for Christ just like us who follow and live for Christ. Did God make him a special saint in heaven I don't know; only the creator knows that. Some say most of the stories are true about Nicholas, others say they are made up.
We know he was a Bishop of Myra in the fourth century, and the Legends are many. Legend or not his stories show us many wonderful things that we can do as Christians.
We teach our family to give to others first, to help the poor the ones with less than we do. We want our girls to spread the love of Christ to all who will hear it.
Nicholas of Mayra we are told did just that.
We leave our boots out on Dec 5th and the children have the boots/shoes replaced with new slippers, books, candy, fruit and Chocolate coins.
We watch the movies on Nicholas and have yummy treats.
As for the rest of Advent we will be spending our nights making crafts, reading Christmas books, and baking cookies. Caroling with our church this year we hope, and finding ways to spread the love of Christmas to others and the true meaning.
My prayers for my children this year is to find a best friend in Jesus! I want them to always think about him and spend time with our Lord each and every day.
I pray that the hour or two we put aside every evening during Advent/Christmas will help them do just that.


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