I was reading other blogs trying to get ideas for making Advent truly a time of preparation, when I stumbled upon the idea of having a stocking for Jesus. I had some leftover scraps from our Jesse tree and Mia's Christmas dress and sewed with Godspeed this stocking. The idea is to write down things that you are thankful for and put them in the stocking. On Christmas Eve, we will read them and offer them to Our Lord Jesus. We have the stocking hanging in the living room so everyone can access it. The pattern I used is here.
Did I mention that some of our nativity figures didn't survive last Christmas? A number of the figures broke and we haven't replaced them yet. Right now we have a felt family awaiting the birth of Our Lord. I want to replace the old figures, but this family is much more practical. I sewed what I called a five-minute-manger out of a scrap of felt and cut up scraps of yarn. The children put in a piece of yarn everytime they do a good deed. The plan is to give Jesus a really soft bed of straw come Christmas Eve. There are already a number of yarn pieces in the manger for helping mom without being told, or being extra patient when things aren't going as planned.
Advent is always such a busy season. I am really trying to keep it simple this year. Last year we tried to do everything. We tried to pray every Novena, do a Jesse Tree, celebrate Saints' feast days etc. In the end, we didn't follow through on half of it. I know that I might be copping out on the extra prayers, but reading the Bible every night is good, too. We are really enjoying doing the Jesse Tree. We are focusing on making our actions our extra prayers. This is not to say that we don't pray, rather that we don't try to do it all. So far our Advent has been very peaceful.
This is our Jesse Tree and little felt nativity. I took the picture a few days ago. I have to remind myself to be humble. I tend to get googly-eyed looking at other Catholic blogs. I see what other families are doing and sometimes feel like I am not doing enough or my stuff isn't as pretty or nice. I don't have a mantle to display things or a large dining room or etc. My husband always gently reminds me not to compare myself and that he loves me just as I am. He tells me that God has provided for us and that we should be thankful. I guess I should quickly write a note for Jesus, thanking him for blessing me with such a wise and humble husband.