Advent 2020 begins on Sunday, November 29th. Which gives me more or less four weeks to get ready. In order for Advent to be a peaceful and faithful time I like to get as much of the Christmas prep out of the way as possible. So in the four weeks leading up to Advent I have this plan.
Week 1 – Lists and Inventory Week 2 – Deep Cleaning and Organize Week 3 – Shopping Week 4 – Thanksgiving and Prep
This week we are making lists and taking inventory. We have a list of the things we want to do during Advent and put events on the family calendar, a list of crafts that we want to make and a shopping list for what we need. Any parties we are wanting to host and what we need for them. Menus, cookie baking, candy making and Christmas giving as well.
This is also the week for taking inventory of what we have and what we might want to let go of and what we might want to add. Make sure we have Advent candles. I also like to do a walk through of the house and add any small fixes or repairs that need to happen for next week.
Deep cleaning and Organizing is pretty straight forward. (weather permitting we will put lights on the house but not start turning them on until after Thanksgiving. ) During this we will go through toys, cloths and craft supplies and get rid of anything that we can. Anything we find we will need can get added to our lists.
Shopping week we will go through our lists and order any gifts that we need. My goal is to have Christmas shopping done this week so that I am not doing the stress shopping thing during December. We also buy non-perishables that we will need for baking and cooking and anything that is on our shopping lists and of course, Thanksgiving dinner shopping.
Thanksgiving week is basically set aside for the big feast, and making Advent wreaths, setting up the Advent calendar and family time. We don’t do Black Friday shopping.
Which all leads into a more peaceful Advent that we can focus on the birth of our Savior and making happy family memories.
A friend once asked me why I “do Lent” when it isn’t in the Bible. Sailing right by the fact that there are many things that Christians do that really aren’t in the Bible, a bunch of things we don’t do that are in the Bible and Catholics don’t really hold to the idea that the Bible spells out all we need to do. (Note that Christ specifically commissions Peter to build his Church, but there is no where in the Bible where he mentions collecting the letters of his followers and using this scripture in addition to the Old Testament scriptures that He himself had) But the question about Lent still left me scratching my head. This friend celebrated Christmas and Easter as “Bible based” but missed that Jesus is often described as drawing away for a time for prayer and specifically in Mathew 4:1-11 his journey into the desert for 40 days is described. I am pretty sure if you are following the Magi and giving gifts on Christmas and marking that Biblical you will have a hard time chiding me as non-biblical for making small sacrifices in immitation of Jesus’ great fast.
As Catholics much of what we do is the living action of liturgy to keep us ever immersed in liturgy. Most of us aren’t going to drop everything and follow Christ into the desert like the Desert Fathers and Desert Mothers or take on the rigorous Asceticism of some of out Saints, but we can follow them in small ways within our own gardens.
So Lent brings us to our own desert. This year for me I am starting out rather badly as I have spent the last day and a half in bed and my car is in the shop. As a family we have given up TV and the children were remarkably on board with that. We are doing our 40 bags.
St Basil the Great ~ Born 329 Died 379 ~ Feast Day January 2nd.
“Troubles are usually the brooms and shovels that smooth the road to a good man’s fortune; and many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.” + St. Basil the Great
St Gregory of Nazianzus ~ Born 329 Died 390 ~ Feast Day January 2nd.
Let us treasure up in our soul some of those things which are permanent – not of those which will forsake us and be destroyed, and which only tickle our senses for a little while. + Gregory of Nazianzus
Today is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and a Holy Day of Obligation.
Memorare of St. Bernard
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
07. Covert observation of matriarch’s scandalous osculation
08. Petite birthplace
09. Sprightly venerable benefactor
11. Enquiry of mutual auditory perception
12. Hushed darkness
13. Noel – envisage blanched
14. Inaugural Yule
15. Royal Eastern trio
17.Theurgical cool guy
18. Matchless season
19. Full-grown enumeration of holiday hopes
20. Commencement of Yuletide complexion
Christmas Carol Game Answers 01. We Wish You a Merry Christmas | 02. Silver Bells | 03. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree | 04. Winter Wonderland | 05. Angels We Have Heard on High | 06. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer | 07. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause | 08. O Little Town of Bethlehem | 09. Jolly Old St. Nicolas | 10. O Come All Ye Faithful | 11. Do You Hear What I Hear? | 12. Silent Night | 13. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas | 14. The First Noel | 15. We Three Kings of Orient Are | 16. Joy to the World | 17. Frosty the Snowman | 18. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year | 19. Grown up Christmas List | 20. It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas