The night before Advent began, Jonny and I pulled down the boxes of Advent supplies from the attic. Five days later, and I still haven’t managed to find places for the things that ended up all over my dresser, including the manger we fill with “straw” for baby Jesus each year. The Stable that we use for our Nativity is in two pieces, still waiting to be repaired. Last night I found myself going back to read the words I wrote here last year at the beginning of Advent (that post includes links to most of our Advent traditions.) It’s kind of funny to go back and read my older posts pertaining to certain recurring events and holidays. My thoughts and feelings tend to repeat themselves year after year. Evidently, I usually feel a little crazy as Advent begins, not sure that I will be able to slow down and really sink in to this season. Actually, I think I am feeling pretty relaxed this year about Advent. I am not “on top of things” generally speaking as far as housekeeping, homeschooling, homemaking, and any other pertinent words that begin with “h” go. Yesterday, I spent the little hands free time I had cleaning out my pantry. My entire house is a mess, but there are three tidy shelves in the pantry now and that feels like a great accomplishment. Tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day. I am feeling pretty good because we’ve been reading about him all week in, St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker . Tonight the kids will set out their slippers, hoping to find treats from St. Nicholas in the morning. There will be the traditional foil wrapped coins (and the kids totally know that the bag of chocolate coins I have stashed in my closet from last year are the ones I will be using!) a satsuma mandarin orange for each, wool socks, and I am planning to make some toffee for them tonight as well. We plan to start reading this new book tomorrow as well: Kersti and Saint Nicholas. This year we will carry on with our traditions as always, only with a messier house as a back drop. I doubt that my kids will remember the mess. They’ll remember the stories we read, the traditions that we celebrated together, and the year that their baby brother, Job, was born. A friend recently commented that having a new baby is one of the best ways to celebrate Christmas. Yes, I think she’s right. Job is definitely helping me to focus on what truly matters.
p.s. I’ve been working on a list of more gift ideas (here’s a link to my first list,) so here is another that I’ve come up with based on some of my family’s favorite things.
This is the perfect time of year to give the One Line a Day Journal. With the exception of a few weeks surrounding Job’s birth, when I just found myself unable to write anything, I’ve been keeping up with mine since June this year.
I did end up buying a Kindle for myself. I bought the Paperwhite. So far I’ve only read one book on it, but I definitely see that there is a place for this gadget in my life, although it won’t be replacing paper books. I think that it will allow me to do more reading though, and that is a really good thing! It certainly is easy to hold, and I love the built in light!
Jonny says that the best gift I’ve ever bought for him is this Leatherman.
I bought myself a complete set of color cards from Quince & Co. just before Job was born. planning to make myself wait until after he was born to open it. Of course once he was born, I forgot all about the package that was waiting for me, and didn’t open it until a week later or so. I think this is a fun gift for a knitter. I really like Quince yarn, and love that it is spun from American wool and is reasonably priced.
I am planning to start reading this Daily Catholic Bible with Seth in the new year.
For kids (and adults!) who like to collect things, and would like an inexpensive way to display them, I recommend riker mounts. This is what we store our nicest shark’s teeth in along with some of our other fossils. We order ours here.
It used to be possible to purchase a complete set of The Chronicles of Narnia in a radio theatre audio format. My family loves listening to these so much. Now it looks like you have to buy each audiobook separately. They are still worth purchasing.
And for some nice books that would make great gifts, we have really enjoyed this Beatrix Potter The Complete Tales for years. You can’t go wrong with Beatrix Potter! We also really like the Calla edition of Stories from Hans Christian Andersen. The illustrations by Edmund Dulac are some of my favorites.
I know I have recommended it several times in the past, but a great book on art for children is The Artful Parent.