It is somewhat amusing to me that I’m suggesting preparing for the time of year that we prepare for Jesus’ birth. And yet, in order to truly enter into the beautiful season of Advent, I find it immensely helpful to be prepared for a calm, purposeful Advent. I *do* need to prepare for the season of preparation.
Most years, I have grand ambitions of having all gift shopping and card-making (photos taken and turned into cards via Shutterfly) done by Thanksgiving. This year, I really do hope to make that a reality. *IF* I get these things done before Thanksgiving, then I can better enjoy the season. I can pray, reflect, and rejoice in peace and calm without worry about all the right trimmings, gifts, and cards.
With just the right planning now, Advent will (hopefully) be that peaceful and joyful time my heart yearns for. In a few days, I’ll create gift lists with my husband. We have always tried to keep giving at Christmas simple and meaningful, so we will chat about what that looks like this year. The kids and I like to do handmade gifts, so we’ll plan some simple food and crafts. And last of all, Fence and I will coordinate our ever-busy schedules and plan a time to take the annual family Christmas card photo–in other words, we set a time for torturing ourselves. (Even with all the best planning, photo-time brings out the Scrooge in all of us. Maybe some egg nog before and a promise of movie night after will help?)
It also helps to set my hopes high and realistic expectations low. Aim for the high, but be pleased with reality, know what I mean?
And if all goes well, even half as well as I plan for, I can breathe easy when the first Sunday arrives and my Advent wreath is found and candles are bought and also found in time for dinner prayers. I am so looking forward to praying through Advent this year. The Blessed Is She team has created a beautiful, physical prayer journal for Advent. I preordered mine on the first day. In a few weeks, you will find me stalking the mailman in between batches of addresses on cards and checking lists for gifts. Take at peek at how beautiful this is going to be.
Guess what, my lovely friends? I am giving away two journals. And, I will also send a set of Advent candles with one journal, and a rosary chaplet of St. Andrew with the other journal. The chaplet is being handmade by my friend Debbie, who has encouraged me as a homeschooler and mother every time I see her. She may not even realize it, but I always walk away from our chats feeling refreshed. She made and gifted me Firecracker’s rosary before he was born. It is so lovely. Her work is beautiful. Thanks, Debbie, for the chaplet! She does make rosaries for sale, so let me know if you are interested.
The chaplet will be lovingly made with beautiful violet beads, for Advent, and have a Madonna and Child medal. It is a great way to add some prayer to your Advent! Here is a little bit about the St. Andrew novena/chaplet . I prayed it last year, and it definitely helped me slow my pace and intentionally pause to remember what the season is really about. Here is what Deborah has to say about the chaplet she is designing:
Just in time for Advent, Rosary by Deborah’s newest product, a St. Andrew Christmas Chaplet, features amethyst-stone colored Czech glass beads and a Madonna and Child medal. The beads are a purple color for Advent with a little sparkle for the anticipation of Christmas. Instructions for the chaplet, which traditionally is prayed starting on the Feast of St. Anthony the Apostle, Nov. 30, until Christmas, are included. Retail value $20; special price this month of $15 including shipping!
A special nod to Gina F. for introducing this chaplet to Debbie, Owner/Designer of Rosaries by Deborah.
I can’t wait to read your responses in the giveaway questions, and learn some other ways you prepare for Christmas during Advent.
Rosaries by Deborah was established in 2006 by Deborah Simon, a Catholic wife and homeschooling mother. While her specialty is in creating custom rosaries for all occasions, there are nearly 100 different predesigned rosaries and chaplets currently available that can be seen via an eBrochure. Depending on options (bead choice, metals used, engraving, etc.), prices range from $15 – $200 with most costing between $18 – $30.
Custom work has included wedding gifts using brides’ colors, multi-generational birthstone rosaries, gifts for Sacraments…
Contact Deborah@RosariesbyDeborah.com to get started designing your special rosary, chaplet, or to see what is currently in stock. (Sorry no website, yet!)
Pictured are Our Lady of Knock Rosary and Sacred Blood Rosary.