Advent is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas, but I really loooove Advent. Since we're basically skipping over Thanksgiving at the store, I might as well dream about Advent.
Advent is awesome. It's the time of year that my second child was born. Did I mention that the stinker is 11 months old now, has gotten a tooth (last month), and signs "all done"? *sniff sniff* My baby isn't really much of a baby anymore.
And I normally go a little nutty with Advent particularly since my oldest catches onto things so darn quickly. Today he told me that he thought the moon was waning. It's waxing actually. He also has lately been interested in his baby, hugging him nearly to death today, giving him kisses, and telling him "I love you." Yes, I mentally said, "ahhhh..." And if we could get him over these colds, I may eventually convince him that using the potty is soooo much easier.
Last year I was about to give/did give birth so Advent and Christmas was reduced to the barest of minimums. This year we're going out for Christmas to visit my in-laws/parents and hopefully my brother. But never the less Advent will get it's due.
Last year the theme was angels. Or rather that's what me and HB worked on. Yes, I have themes for Advent. It also goes into Christmas as well. Basically we worked on Angel crafts because 1) he wasn't yet two, 2) I was about or just did give birth then developed hives then got mastitis, 3) trying to explain how Angels not having corporal forms and our paper renditions being simplistic representations to a not quite two year old doesn't go over so well. This year's theme is far simpler and easier to digest for a not quite three year old and an almost one year old. It also goes very well with the fact that we are planetary people and my oldest has an obsession with the moon. And when I say obsession I mean stands out in the parking lot and refuses to go into the apartment until he has been gazing for massive quantities of time at the moon.
Right, theme...This year it's stars as in Star of Bethlehem. Appropriate no? Although I realize it's more a Christmas/Epiphany thing, but Advent is all about preparing.
Star craft making shall commence. There will be paper stars, dough stars, star stickers, star sizing sorters, star colors, stars everywhere. I will be so sick of stars.
In addition we will have some cool family things going on:
1) Advent wreath: Small children and fire do not mix. I read somewhere on the net about using a paper plate and toilet paper rolls and orange tissue paper and turning it into an Advent wreath. You cover the toilet paper rolls in appropriate purple and pink. Have your child paint the paper plate green or glue on greenary. Glue on the paper rolls. And then "light" it by inserting the tissue paper. And if a certain Destructocon Toddler gets ahold of it...no biggie, it's simple to fix.
2) Advent Calendar: I'm making my own. It won't be a true one because it will cover only the month of December and Advent dates vary year to year. It's made from felt and very small child friendly. The top will have Mary and Joseph traveling. The days will be pockets, but instead of being just numbers I will be uber-Catholic about it and include the feast days. For example, St. Lucy will have her head thingy on the outside of it to symbolize St. Lucy's feast day. And of course my second child's birthday will have a cake. On Christmas Day we'll have the manger. I've already made a stuffed baby Jesus (well he needs a halo and eyes) and he will travel through the advent calendar. I'm so excited. I wanted to sew the whole thing but I don't think I'll have much time so for now I'm hot glue gunning it and that should hold up just was well from Destructocon and his side kick Monkey Boy. *squealing*
3) Jesse Tree: When I was watching the girls, we did Jesse Tree ornaments. Mommita's family isn't Catholic and the Jesse Tree is the most tamest of traditions. Basically I printed off the pictures, the girls colored them and I made them into ornaments. HB was too young then and last year well...you know about last year. So this year it's being resurrected.
4) And if that wasn't enough: Last year when I went Goodwill shopping of HB's birthday, I came across a creche Peanuts gang style. It's got small pieces so Monkey Boy will not be allowed to play with it yet. I figure I can do some redecorating and put it up high and have the creche pieces "move." And after Knee goes to bed or is otherwise not around, HB can be allowed to play with it. I'll have to explain that the Peanuts are pretending. Woodstock is not the Baby Jesus. A Creche is more of a Christmas thingy too. I do plan on making a toilet paper tube creche for after Advent so the boys can destroy it in one day. Or hopefully not.
5) To top it all off: I enjoy reading Christmas books with the boys. Someone suggested wrapping each of the books and having them unwrap a book for each day of Advent. I'm not sure we have that many books right now, but every St. Nicholas's Day the boys receive a "new" Christmas book (new to us) and an orange (symbolizes the gold that St. Nicholas gave to the girls for their dowry). And we read the books as part of our usual bed time routine.
Did I say I love Advent? Um...yeah.