Today is the first Sunday of Advent and last year I took part in A pause in Advent with Floss from Troc, Broc and Recup and I have to say that it really did make me sit back and rethink what Advent and Christmas is all about.  It is very easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Advent and Christmas and taking time out to actively think and take a breath was and is really helpful for me.

So what does advent mean?  It is a time of hope, anticipation and preparation.  It gives me the opportunity of introducing a time of family devotion and discussion at meal times.  It is a time to talk about what is coming and why we have Christmas, it is a time to develop the boys understanding and focus on the non-commercial aspect of this wonderful time.  It is also a time for introducing new nad reinforcing old traditions.

You will not find chocolate advent calenders in The Mad House, instead you will find a handmade one with something to do each day over the advent hung above the fireplace.  This could be something as simple as have a hot chocolate with cream and sprinkles or something a little more involved such as make angles with mummy.

Sound the Trumpets

Beat the drums

Advent is

When Jesus Comes

So what does Advent mean to you and how to you take time out to celebrate and reflect on this time of year?

Here are the other entries in this Advent carnival:

Jax at Making It Up has posted about her Home ed Christmas camp Advent traditions.

Maria at Fab Mums has posted about her homemade advent calendar and even find a way to use it to teach a bit of Maths.

Cass at Frugal Family has posted about making a video from Santa to each of her children.

Sally has posted her plans for her Advent calender where she has planned something seasonal to do with her children each day.

Chris at Thinly Spread has posted about the many Advent Activities in her household including her activity Advent calendar.

Ella at Notes From Home has posted about her Advent readings by candlelight.