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.

26 thoughts on “

  • Chris at Thinly Spread

    Your Comments
    No chocolate calendars here either! Advent begins today with the turning on of the lights in our town and a firework display. We will be wrapping up warm and toddling on down for that and to sing some carols before we come home for hot chocolate and bed.
    We have a pocket calendar and each day contains a little note with a suggestion for something to do much the same as yours!
    Years ago my MIL gave the children a string of advent stockings each so they have those in their rooms and we are lucky enough to have a Christmas Fairy who visits them each day with a little something…which MAY be chocolate but could also be something to play with or a piece of fruit!
    Lovely post, thank you so much for linking to Festive Friday…I feel we may be soul mates! x

    • admin

      @Chris at Thinly Spread: I hope you had a great time at the fireworks and lights. for me advent is a really speical time, which draws us all together and I cherrish the opportunity to develop and reinforce traditions with my boys. I do think that you and me are pretty alike!

  • Betty

    I had trouble getting to your new blog – but here I am! Lovely to see your ideas – my kids are just interested in chocolate I’m afraid! but we could certainly throw in some ideas for alternatives too – we have a littlel wooden Christmas house with doors for each day… and things go in the doors and it plays Christmas tunes –

    • admin

      @Betty: I am so glad that you found me. I am sure that the boys will one day one a chocolate advent calender, but whilst they are small I can control their intake!

  • Kaye Swain SandwichINK

    Loved your sweet family memories and plans for this Advent season. Some of my favorite parts of the Advent and Christmas season include craft activities for grandparents and grandchildren, along with delightful Christmas praise and worship music. Have a blessed and lovely week.

    • admin

      @Kaye Swain SandwichINK: Thank you Kaye, I believe that in making things with the children we can discuss things at the same time. I have gained so much since I had the boys

  • Jo Beaufoix

    What a lovely post, and it made me think. We do have chocolate calendars but I think now that when they open them we’ll take a moment to talk about Christmas and what it means.

    • admin

      @Jo Beaufoix: Part of advent for me is the ability to use it to reinforce the non commerical meaning of christmas, the maing of things and discussing them as a family

  • Lorrie

    Your Comments

    Advent really is a time to focus on what’s important in life. We don’t have chocolate calenders here, either, but I love to count down the days to Christmas. My calender will begin tomorrow. I love sewing and crafting gifts and decorations for Christmas as well as baking.

  • Jane

    Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. We do not have children but I loved your activites calendar! I am really looking forward to seeing how other people celebrate and their traditions. I am now thinking of adapting your calendar idea for hubby and me next year!
    Jane x

  • Gemma

    What lovely decorations Jen. Too much in this country has become commercialised and thank you for reminding me of that.

    Wasn’t able to comment on your last post as otherwise engaged 😉 however i’d just like to say that the canvass is wonderful and that picture of the boys is just adorable!!


  • a collection of days

    I loved these special moments when my kids were little. We always had a special thing to do on the days of Advent also. Sometimes it was do something nice for one of your sisters or brother and sometimes it was a gift certificate to the local candy shop.

  • Metropolitan Mum

    I tried to buy an advent wreath yesterday. After all it was the 1st Sunday in advent, i.e. I wanted to light the first candle on the wreath.
    I’ll have to wait till Tuesday – the shops won’t get them before. Pagans!! 😉

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  • Anna

    Your Comments I love the Advent season. Yes, it’s great to take time out to think about what it really means. My Advent candles arrived in the post today (held up by the snow) so I’m looking forward to making my arrangement and having the candlelight beaming in my house. Thank you again for your lovely candle display idea. I’m inspired!

  • admin

    Jax, I havent been online since Ella did the links, I have added them. I also take part in a Pause in Advent over at Troc, Broc and recup too. Thanks for the complement

  • Ella

    I love your Advent Calendar, such a great idea and it’s so beautiful. (We don’t do chocolate ones either!)

    Thanks for joining in the carnival, I really appreciate it x

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