This blog post will detail a little bit about what I do for Advent and Christmas to make sure they are both holy and smooth sailing. I get started planning for Advent and Christmas somewhere between the middle of October to beginning of November. I started doing this about 5 or 6 years ago and it has been such a game changer to be prepared ahead of time! When I am prepared, I have a much more focused and holy Advent and Christmas!
I like to break down my planning into 5 different categories and focus on them individually. The categories are usually: personal spiritual goals, spiritual goals for the children, food, miscellaneous, and gifts. I love to brainstorm ahead of time and try to prepare all the details so that they are ready in time for Advent! It’s helpful to look back at notes from previous Advents/Christmases to figure out what traditions we will keep! Click here to download a copy of my free printable Advent and Christmas PDF to help you plan!
Personal Spiritual Goals: For me, I need a devotional to guide my Advent every year. Last year I read ” Advent with Christ” by Edward Sri. This is a great devotional- it is only 1-2 pages of reading a day with awesome reflections. The next thing I try to do in December is go on a retreat. Last year I found an awesome virtual one for Catholic Mom’s . It was the perfect addition to my Advent!
Children’s Spiritual: Here is a list of some of the liturgical living ideas we do during Advent:
- Prepare for our Advent wreath– I will need to buy candles
- Prepare for St Lucy’s Day- gather the book, white nightgown, and crown this doll is adorable too!(picture above)
- St Nicholas Feast Day(video)– our kids get ornaments and books in their shoes so I will need to buy those!
- Prepare Jesee tree devotion and Jesse tree and here is how to do this devotion.
- Visit a Shrine as a family- I will need to do some research into which one
Food: I keep all my Christmas recipes in a folder and I love to go through them every year to figure out which ones were keepers! I love to prepare in advance for any recipe I plan on making. For instance, we do these awesome cookies that everyone loves, but I will have to make sure I buy the red and green m&ms in advance since they can be hard to find sometimes! Here is our FAVORITE Christmas cookie recipe!
Miscellaneous: This category usually involves random things that I like to have done before Christmas! Some of the things I like to do include:
- Clean out our old toys- I like to go through them when they’re at school and sort through things what they don’t play with anymore and donate them
- Order Christmas jammies and ornaments
- Plan the children’s Christmas outfits for Mass, Christmas (& Thanksgiving)
- Order Christmas cards (Look for the best deals- have them done by Thanksgiving!)
Gifts: Brainstorm kids gifts, spouse gifts, teacher gifts, parents, in-laws, etc.
- For Lots of Catholic Discounts check this link out.
- Kids gifts- I try to keep them as simple as possible- it usually includes 2 play things and 1 thing of books (usually a series) Use my promo code CM15 for 15% off with the Catholic Company
- Teacher- Last year we got them coffee and a rosary from the Catholic Company
After the first list with all the brainstorming ideas, I write a second list of all the things that I’ve bought and wrapped. I try to get all my Christmas gifts out in the mail by Thanksgiving. Trust me, it is a huge game changer! Click here to print your Christmas gift list.
I hope these lists help you and your family have a focused, peaceful Advent and Christmas! Let me know what works for you and how you like to plan for Christmas!
This is an amazing and helpful post – Thank you!!!
Thank you so much! I’m so looking forward to doing as much as I can. I’ve not ever heard of a Jesse tree. Curious why it’s called that? Well I’ll be doing one this year as well as the advent devotion which is new to me as well. Thanks again, Heather I’m looking forward to making it a Christ centered as a Catholic. I’ll also be observing St. Nicholas and his feast day as well. Love the show idea! God Bless!