Monday, November 26, 2012

Preparing for the journey:: advent, christmas & children

A lovely Saturday afternoon spent talking about Advent and Christmas, and how to make it magical for our little ones. 

Where do I start? I wrote about the Christmas workshop I attend last year here. I wanted to write about it again, as the words always seem to flow a little differently. I wish I could share all the wonderful memories Ebba shares of her childhood in the mountains of Austria.....such magic her parents created  at Christmas time that still lives inside her.  

This is what we as a family will be trying to achieve this Christmas, with the aim of our girls (well at least Abbie) appreciating what Christmas is really about - a time for giving and nurturing; for being thankful; for miracles; for love and for family. 

Adventthe coming of the Christmas Child, a time of preparation and waiting.  

This Sunday (the beginning of Advent) we will begin to tell Abbie (and Millie) the Christmas Story. It will be something sweet and simple......'Once upon time, long ago there lived a women and a man. They live in a little wooden house just next to the sea. The man spent his days making things with his hands out of wood and the lady loved looking after all the day an angel came  to earth with a special message for the lady. She would have a baby.' So will begin the journey to find the manger where the baby will be born. The story will be told using simple felt standing dolls and wool felt animals I have been making over the past years. Each night by candle light we will tell a little more of their journey. As my girls are only young, the stories will be short. One day they lost their way and a spider spun a golden thread to get them back on their path. Another day, while they cooled by the sea side, a beautiful shell washed up to shore.*  

Each Sunday of Advent we will light a candle on our wreath (a candle ring we will decorate with fresh blooms and greens from the garden each day) until all four candles are burning bright on Christmas Eve. 

We hope the Christmas angels will stop by our house each night and leave a small gift in the chain of little gold boxes hanging above Abbie's bed**. Something will be left that appeared in the story that night or in line with the four kingdoms of Advent. Simple treasures, some crafted by me others by mother nature. Little treasures we can add to the nativity. 

On Christmas Eve, our tree will be decorated (this will be done before all the girls arrive home),  a baby will be in Mary's arms, the Christmas story will be told and finished, Christmas biscuits will be eaten and Silent Night will be sung. We shall celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christmas Child, the Child of Light, the Divine Child - whatever you wish to call him.

Christmas day, there will be too much food, carols, paper hats, three girls and one baby and lots of family. Hopefully sunshine. And of course presents.  

Still to do: 

:: This week I shall gather bits and pieces to cover 24 little matchboxes in gold paper and help the Christmas angel prepare 24 little treasures for those boxes.***
:: We will bookmark a biscuit recipe to make in the week before Christmas, and gather all our tins to store them in. 
:: Muslin (thin cotton fabric) will be dyed with food dyes in lovely tones of blue to adorn our nativity. 
:: The Advent wreath will be created, using a wooden candle ring and flowers will be collected on Saturday afternoon (beeswax candles have been bought).
:: Sewing! Two Wise Men/ Kings to go, one camel and one white sheep.

 I would love to hear how you celebrate Christmas? Will you be doing anything for Advent? 

pictures of Ebba's nativity - the last is an example of a more simple nativity 

* If one night we can't manage this, then the story will be told on Sunday night when we light another candle on our Advent wreath.  
**read more in my previous post here, however simply cover 24 matchboxes in gold paper (or felt if you have the time!), and thread each box on to a long piece of ribbon. Each day a treasure is left in the bottom box and the box removed....a lovely visual way to see how many days until Christmas.
***If I get a moment in the next few days I shall post some pictures of what I have made and collected if any of you would like some inspiration. 


  1. You have put much thought into how to celebrate this special time of year. It's admirable. I like your idea of lighting candles in the home to mark each week of advent.

    I usually go to church but with Joy napping in the's a bit tricky. So Skye goes with my parents and she's exposed to the advent tradition of lighting candles and preparing for the birth of Jesus. It's a sweet, loving story and so full of anticipation and joy. I read stories about the birth of Jesus and we also go to the nativity play at the town square just before Christmas day. It's very cute. All the children dress up as angels or shepherds. Skye seems to think she's Mary at the moment though. We keep waking up to the news that she's given birth to baby-Jesus overnight. So far she's had two boys and a girl baby-Jesus. LOL!

    What a beautiful post...


  2. this is a really lovely way to spend the lead up to christmas. i think i will try to do an advent like this next year (this year we will be away from home for the first two or three weeks of december so would make it a little difficult). would love to see some of the things you have made and collected for your advent calendar if you get time to post them. thanks so much for sharing and i agree with nicole, a beautiful post. x

  3. This is my first time at your blog. I just wanted to let you know I think it is lovely. I spent way too much time this morning thumbing through your past posts : ) I will be linking to today's post on's Facebook page. Wishing you and your family a blessed and meaningful advent.

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  5. I sent you an e-mail with links to my Saint Nicholas stories. I hope that you enjoy them!

    Christine Natale

  6. This is beautiful.
    And I love your story suggestions. We've been doing a nightly story of the journey this year and I'm desperate for ideas - would love to hear what other ideas you have. I'm going to borrow your spider and the golden thread tonight.


Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you and will respond to any questions in the comments sections. Natalie

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