Family Advent Time

It’s advent season again.

In our home we set up candles on a table in the corner of the living room and hang the felt tree with pieces to put up each day from December 2 to December 25. Various nativity scenes also take over the table, placed there by the children to whom they belong.

In an ideal world, each day we would gather as a family in the living room, have a system for who goes first, rotating by year to give all a fair shot at the manger on Christmas morning. We have yet to find that ideal place.

The routine has become to gather in the living room, figure out whose night it is to put up the piece, have the piece placer place the piece, struggle through where the piece will be placed, have the piece placed, have the piece placer read the corresponding Scripture, choose a carol, and close with prayer and snuffing out the candle.

Life is never routine here, so often pieces pile up leaving several to do in one night.

Allow me to give a recent example . . .


It’s a three-candle night. The pile of pieces rests on the table next to butterfly binoculars and a Rudolph headband craft. Let’s back it up.


Here you have a clearer view of the xbox controllers and sundry nativities. And the placement of pieces on (or off of) the tree.

This is a five or six piece night, which tells you that we have not been consistent with advent. Child one takes his first turn.

Kirk advent

Some improvising takes place, invoking laughter, an inside family joke inserted where the angel of the Lord is supposed to be making an announcement. We laugh and regroup.

Kanah advent

Sort of.

The next child reads, adding her version of humor before putting up a piece and choosing a song.

Chloe advent

And so on, until . . .

Finally the baby gets a turn.

Mairi advent

Notice that the sheep is taking a bite of the pear. That is important.

felt tree

And here you have what the felt advent tree looks like once we have caught up with it. Tomorrow is a new day, and we will try again.

4 thoughts on “Family Advent Time

  1. Aunt Marilyn

    Ahhhhhh, so refreshing! Perhaps we will all gather on Christmas day and put up all the pieces on our tree, although the first few days I put some up myself and God used them to remind me to love my kids in Bible Club! Lol. Thank you Lord. Perhaps we will read through your post also as we put the rest up! What fun thoughts. But then again, it might get forgotten and there it will be! We will see! Help me remember my dreams Jesus! Help me live Your dreams Jesus! So refreshing to hear I am not alone in my imperfect world! Love you lots!

  2. Julie McClay

    Thank you for not only reading but also responding. I love that you were the one to first send us and Advent tree when I was a child and now look at all of the families busily putting up pieces each year! It is fun to be connected over and across the miles via facebook and blog posts. May God continue to give you space for your heart in the midst of the imperfection of this world. You are an inspiration!

  3. Aunt Marilyn

    We tried to finish the tree. Grandkids thought it was neat. They wondered why the tree was up on the wall. That got us going. We let them pick whichever pieces they wanted. Didn’t get through all the catch up, but at least Jesus got up on the tree. At least he was part of our Christmas. At least He is still here with us now and part of our lives, even after all is over. I am glad and am choosing to walk with, and trust, Him today. We will have grandkids here once our oldest, their mama, goes into labor. Any day now! Perhaps we will get to finish it! Perhaps the wise men will come on their camels! Perhaps. . . Enjoy today! Love you!

  4. Pingback: Friendship Friday ~ Aunt Marilyn | Composting the Heart

Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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