I want to remember our family time this Advent, so this post is really just for me (but you are still welcome to read it. :) ).
First of all, a shot of our “Thankfulness Tree” before I took it down to put up the Jesse Tree:
Our Advent wreath (which obviously is going to need new candles if we don’t want to send the whole wreath up in flames with candle #2 next week):
Our little winter carousel – M had a great time helping to put this together, and carefully set all the little people in their spots. He spends a lot of time in the dark with this, watching the lights and mirrors as the carousel goes around:
Our Advent calendar – this is our first year with this; it was given to us by a cousin who didn’t want it for her family any longer. Hm. I’m not sure about the whole Noah’s Ark thing for Advent. Noah’s Ark is one of the Jesse Tree stories, but still… the flood, the animals, the ark, the rainbow… I like them all, but I think I’d prefer a manger scene or something a bit more Christmassy. This may not make it into next year’s Advent.
We will buy a tree soon (we get a real one), and I just realized I need to get out our nativity set. Normally we set the tree up a week and a half or so before Christmas, so it’s still in good shape during the 12 days of Christmas, which begin on Christmas day, and end on January 5th. I so dislike hearing about people celebrating the 12 days of Christmas before Christmas even begins, hee hee. Ah well, to each his own (honestly it doesn’t bother me that much, but I do wonder why they seem to be in such a hurry to get it over with).
January 6th, by the way, is the day after the 12th day of Christmas and is Epiphany – when we celebrate the coming of the wise men and their gifts. It’s fun to play this out with our nativity set, having the wise men move a little closer to the star and the stable each day. After all the waiting and hoping during Advent, it feels good to celebrate Christmas for a nice, extended period of time. I’ll save a little gift to give to M on Epiphany, as the wise men finally end their journey and find the stable and the sweet baby. We may also use the day to offer gifts to some nearby charities (we do this before Christmas also, but it’s nice to have something special and loving to do on Epiphany in honor of the wise men’s gifts to baby Jesus).
On another note, I see I’m going to have to figure out this new camera business. Apparently I need to change a bunch of settings every time I take a photo. It is sensitive to the type and level of lighting, and has about a billion settings. Maybe I’m not cut out for the fancy photography stuff. Hopefully the pictures will improve as I get more used to it!
Have a beautiful day! :)