This evening I suddenly decided that we absolutely without a doubt needed an empty manger to go under our tree. As I type I can hear my husband making it. Gotta love a man who's game for crazy, last minute schemes! Soon I'll be working on a swaddled doll (inspired by these) to go in it on Christmas day. You might call him Baby Jesus, but around here he's "Baby Je"....a little Sophiaism for you.
Earlier this week I put Stephan up to making us an Advent Wreath....not exactly a traditional one, but I love it. Tomorrow we will light the first candle.
The kids began opening their Advent calendars today, and we pulled out our Advent and Christmas books. Advent Storybookhas become our traditional evening read. I believe this is our third year of it. Each story is short, and they all lead up to the birth of Jesus. This year we're also doing Truth in the Tinsel. For those who are familiar with Jesse Trees this is similar, but it's geared toward a younger crowd. It has a daily scripture and devotional along with instructions for simple ornaments and ideas for other activities to do with your kids. We are not doing every craft/activity that goes along with it. There is enough to do this time of the year without sending myself into a panic because I forgot to buy pipe cleaners!
If you're still looking for something to do for Advent:
Here's an Advent reading plan for our favorite children's Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible
A Holy Experience offers a free devotional and printable Jesse Tree ornaments.
And, here are a few of our favorite Christmas books:
What is your family's favorite Advent tradition (newly begun or well established)?