Not quite the season

So I've started planning advent. Which seems ridiculous because it's only October (well, it's November NOW but when I started this it was still pre-Halloween). What am I, Walmart? I should blame corporate America or pinterest or something - Canada? But honestly, I need to. I want to get that all planned before I spend time finishing the Winter semester of WOL and I want that to be out December 1st to give people a full month if they are following along and to give me the month of December "off". So here I am, reading about Christmas. Weird. At least I'm not like the house on the way to church that already has their Christmas lights and blown up Santa out.

Now I've really enjoyed how we've handled Advent in the past but this year I've been thinking about concentrating on the building of anticipation, the waiting. (Yes, I get the irony of that statement with the above paragraph, just bear with me :-) the simplicity yet deep impact of the Christmas story. How do I show that?

I've spent the last month simplifying our toys and books but also our schedule. I made a mistake earlier this year with some of the commitments I made to people other than my husband and children. They weren't bad things, but they weren't what I should have been doing at this point in time and I paid for it in stress and our schedule. So the last thing I want to do this holiday seasons is take a step backwards in my journey to simplify. But I also love doing things and I love Christmas, so 어떡해?

This post by Auntie Leila, along with this one, really helped me fine tune my vision for what is is I do want. So I'm still fining tuning things but I've got some ideas.


Now that the piano is here, I finally have a spot to really set up our nativity set. So I will set it out early but Mary and Joseph will have to travel to get there, baby Jesus won't arrive until Christmas and the Wise Men are going to have to wait even longer. I will set out the kids Little People one for play though. I also want us to wait longer to set up the Christmas tree. Not sure we'll wait until Christmas Eve mostly because I'm not sure there will be any left if we do but we won't be putting it up Thanksgiving weekend. I really liked the idea in the above article about having advent decorations and Christmas decorations.

Advent Devotionals:

We have finally gotten a good routine for daily family bible time in the evenings but we'll take a break from our usual felt board and switch to an Advent reading. It's kinda been hit and miss with the Advent devotionals we've used lately. I can't wait until the kids are old enough for Jotham's Journey or something similar. For now, I'm thinking we'll use this to read through The Jesus Storybook Bible. Lucy loves it but tends to favor a few certain stories so it will be nice to read a variety instead of always "The one where Jesus dies."  We'll keep the baby Jesus in the manger although we may have to make a new manger since I think last year's lost a leg and Jesus kept falling out. And we'll roll our advent candles each week too. That was a lot of fun but really simple.


This is the area we are really going to trim down. I'm thinking we'll stick to celebrating St. Lucia's day (rolls for breakfast!), the living nativity down the street and trying to fit in one giving type of activity like joining the local homeschool group in caroling at a nursing home. And we'll still be doing our advent bags but instead of packing them full of activities, they daily "events" will be simpler and more about preparation than celebration - open a new Christmas book, baking cookies to put in the freezer for later on or making decorations and ornaments to put up later on.

And all this planning for what not to do for Christmas has gotten me really excited about Christmas. But first, Thanksgiving. And I'm pretty excited about that too. Last year, I was kind of dreading it but this year, I'm going to reclaim the joy that is Thanksgiving - with no Christmas lights** or blow up Santa's in sight.

* 어떡해 (romanized something like Otokay)  is a common Korean phrase meaning "What do I do?" It is often uttered by a female k-drama character in a whiny voice when life is not going her way. Ex: I locked my keys out of my car? 어떡해! or Ack, these debt collectors have forced my father to flee the country and now they are after me and I will be forced to either enter a contract marriage with this man I don't know or perhaps I should just attend this exclusive high school and train to be a pop star. 어떡해? And this has been your Korean lesson for the day. 

**I'm going to have to take that back. Craig wants to put up our outdoor Christmas lights Thanksgiving weekend while his brother is here to be his slave help. Baby steps, baby steps.

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