Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I never did any kind of advent growing up so the idea is a little new to me. I like it, but without any real traditions to fall back on I've really been making it up as I go:

First, I impulsively bought this adorable 25 boxes advent calendar a few years ago on clearance. I really don't want to put candy or any other kind of gift in it (the kids get enough of that stuff as it is) so I've been looking for a nativity sceen set to go in it ever since. I've been using a make-do one for the last two years but it's mismatched weird. I've been thinking about trying to make something or paint pieces or something!

Second, We had an advent wreath the last two years because our church offered great kits for a suggested donation, but I never kept the cheap foam ring base because it was already disintegrating after a month. So now I'm trying to scrounge around my house and make something into a wreath. Fortunately I kept the candles and I've got a lot of other junk around here.

Third, we've been using a little homemade pamphlet our church handed out in 2009 for a daily devotional to go with advent. Even at 2 years old, NJ understood that he had to sit through it before he was allowed to see what surprise awaited him behind the cute numbered door on the advent calendar. However, the material was way over his head and even now at 4 years old, he's not getting it.  So I've been working on a little advent book with daily devotionals he might understand.

How about you? Help me out here!! What are your advent traditions?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Thanksgiving Tree

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Looking for a fun quick craft? The instructions for this felt turkey were very straightforward. I did it all with glue, two staples, and two quick hand stitched spots to avoid having to break out the sewing machine. This little gobbler covers a star on a photo holder tree.

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I was looking for a way to incorporate something daily into our November- kinda like an Advent calendar for Thanksgiving- so each day we write a few things we've thankful for on leaves and slide the leaves into the photo holder spots. Tomorrow we start adding some yellow leaves too! I made a little word file with the leaves so all I have to do it print on colored paper. Email me if you'd like the file, I'm happy to pass it along!

How did this all come about???

I recently stopped by a client's house and noticed her Christmas tree was up. I'd LOVE to have mine up but my hubby has this crazy rule about waiting until Thanksgiving is over. So I quickly said, "I love that you have your Christmas tree up!" She sweetly told me it was actually their Thanksgiving tree and on closer inspection I realized that all the decorations were, in fact, fall-ish! The lights were orange and brown, the glass ornaments were fall colored, and under the tree she had a cute little scarecrow and some pumpkins and a fall leaf garland. It was perfect!!!

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I texted a photo to my husband before I left, but he still wasn't sold. We'd been talking about how part of what makes me want to put up the Christmas decorations early is all the wonderful holiday traditions that make it a month long celebration! We started doing an advent calendar a few years ago and we all love it. Each day we read a little devotional and scriptures together and then open a door in the calendar. Each door holds one little piece of a manger scene- baby Jesus comes on Christmas day! The kids really get into it, even if they have a hard time sitting still for the full devotional and it's great family time. I'm hoping this Thanksgiving tree turns into an equally well loved holiday tradition!