What I’m doing for Advent 2017

Of the many things I love about being Catholic, the season of Advent is definitely high on the list. Advent is the beginning of each new liturgical year. It’s a fresh start (we get TWO new years!), and a hopeful season in preparation for Jesus’ coming at Christmas.

There are so many ways to observe Advent, but much of what I see on the interwebs is how to observe it within the context of family life. As someone that doesn’t apply to right now, I thought it might be nice to share a bit of how I’ll be observing the season.

1. Decorating my apartment
It might be hard if you live with un-festive people, but fortunately that’s not the case for me. We already got a tree (still to be decorated) and set out our Advent wreath with a few other things and will be adding more soon. I think it’s fun to leave the mangers empty in nativity scenes and only add him on Christmas, but otherwise I say go all out. Chocolate calendars are not only for children.

2. Cutting back on social media
It’s a perennial problem for many people nowadays that we just need to put down our phones more. I’m not sure exactly what this will look like, because I like to break self-imposed rules. But my mornings are awesome when I don’t get on anything before work, so that’s where I’m starting. I removed the Facebook app from my phone a while ago. We’ll see how this goes.

3. Making time for extra prayer
First, this includes saying the St. Andrew novena (starts today!). It goes from November 30 to Christmas Eve, and I highly recommend the beautiful prayer if you’ve never said it. My family said it around the lit Advent wreath every night growing up, so I’ll be making an effort to light the wreath more often with my housemates.

4. Making time for extra reflection and reading
This year I was overly ambitious and purchased In the Beginning as well as Rooted in Hope. I enjoyed Blessed is She’s last year – it was an excerpt from the Bible, a reflection, and journal space for each day. In the Beginning is the same format. I’m excited to do Rooted in Hope as well because it gives you space for lectio divina for each day’s Bible excerpt, which I think helps you dig even deeper into it and think about what you’re reading. I’m getting up 15 minutes earlier than normal to give more time to do this in the morning before leaving for work.

5. Confession
Ideally I would be going every month already, but never in my life have I gotten into that habit. Advent and Lent are always times I’ve gone, though, and I want to make this the beginning of a monthly habit.

6. Festive everything
Socks, pajamas, hand soap, FOOD, music (just bought this), earrings, you name it. Bring on the festivities. I am really not at all liturgically observant of the fact that much of the celebration is more appropriate in the 12 days of Christmas. I just can’t contain the cheer and yes, if you’re wondering, I am not yelling in my car at the stoplights. I am rocking out to festive music because Baby Jesus is worth celebrating. Here’s a pretty epic song to check out.

7. Christmas cards
Is it awkward for single young adults to send Christmas cards? If it is, I don’t care, because I’m doing it anyway (along with housemates). Snail mail is timeless and amazing and I love sending Christmas cheer. This year I designed the card by hand, digitized it, and had it printed, which is quite exciting.

Aaand I’m linking up with Kelly & fam for some Friday quick take fun. Head over there for more.

That’s it for now! How do you do Advent? Share below and let’s chat about all the ways we can celebrate the season. Jesus is coming!

To Life,

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9 thoughts on “What I’m doing for Advent 2017”

    1. Balance is pretty hard with social media! I’ve started by cutting it out before work. But my worst time of day for wasting time is late at night. I still haven’t quite figured out how to do better with that, but I’m trying to find more balance too. It’s hard when you’re trying to do everything you “should” to promote your blog, so I do very little blog promotion (it’s just for fun anyway) and am mostly on it personally. Advent seems like a great time to work on it!

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  1. These are definitely great ideas! I am struggling with social media, and really contemplating taking it off my phone.

    But, we shall see… 🤔

    Thank you for sharing your experiences – and how you plan to Advent!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Do you know what? I removed the Facebook app months ago, but it works almost as well through a browser….which is a problem. That and Instagram are my time suckers. I lean much more toward a moderate use of things than completely removing them, because when they’re gone I break my own rule. So, I don’t really have answers, but I know many of us are working on the same problem 🙂 I’ve thought about someday not having a smartphone, and the idea is growing on me…

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      1. Yes! I do have some days where I intentionally leave my phone on the charger. But, nothing set scheduled for that. So, I need to maybe do scheduled days on the charger – or, something like that.

        Because, you are correct – it still works in the browser…

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  2. I think it’s so neat you pray the St. Andrew novena! It sounds so cool, but I haven’t done it yet, and I’m not sure if/when I will. There’s just SO MANY awesome Advent prayers and traditions, and as much as I’d love to do everything, that wouldn’t really help me embrace the simplicity and silence of Advent 😉 Confession frequency is something I’ve been trying to work on recently! It was so easy when I was a college student at a Catholic university where on campus, 4 days a week there were confessions and off-campus on Saturdays you could find Confession pretty much anytime from 9-3. But since moving away, I’ve found that Confession is definitely something Jacob and I need to schedule and put on the calendar each month, or else it just doesn’t seem to happen.

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    1. Seriously – there are SO many different things you can do for Advent! And they’re all good, so it can be hard to choose 😉 I do the novena because I grew up with it so it’s part of Advent to me, but there are many things I don’t do, like the Jesse Tree and O Antiphons and St. Nicholas’ fest day (or others during Advent really were never a thing here). Haha, picking and choosing definitely is hard, but a better way to be living the simplicity. And you find your favorites over time! Confession was so easily available in college, though I still didn’t get into a monthly habit there. Now it’s offered a total of a half hour or 45 minutes on Saturdays around here (you’re luck if a parish has a full hour or more), which is tough when it’s the middle of the day! I should do that and put it on my calendar once a month ….

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