December 1, 2012

Advent in the Engstrom Home

I'm not an official part of the Advent series, but I thought I'd go ahead and share the things we do to keep the season.  This will be the first year for some of the things and I'm excited to share them.  Also, I'm going to link this post with Katie's Christmas Decor Link-Up and I encourage you to join the fun over at her blog.

Tomorrow, you get Lisa Hendey.  Today, you get me.  So YAY for tomorrow!

Our Advent Wreath
Thanks to Catholic Icing for reminding all her Facebook fans to buy new Advent candles today!  And look what came in the mail today - the copy of Lisa Hendey's new book O Radiant Dawn!  I won it at her blog and I'm so grateful to have it.  I'm not just sucking up because she's posting tomorrow, either.  In the past we've just lit the candles at supper and said, "Come, Lord Jesus!" but I've always wanted a little something more.  Travis and I both agree that this book looks great and we're excited to make it a part of our tradition.

Jesse Tree and Nativity. 
In years past I've had a much nicer Nativity with porcelain figures in this area but after Baby Jesus lost an arm last year I thought I should shelve that one until the kids are a little older.  So we have a nice Melissa & Doug Nativity.  The shepherds are over in "the hills" and you may have noticed that Mary and Joseph are hanging out on the Advent Wreath, making the journey to Bethlehem.
The basket on the left contains all the Jesse Tree ornaments we have from an ornament swap I partook in a few years back. 

Wreath on the front door.
I just re-did this with some new ribbon and the Noel from Wal-Mart.  The ornaments and greens are left from my wedding decorations, which makes it extra special to me.
What do you think?  I'm not sure if I like it.

St. Nick fills them on the eve of his feast day.  Santa and St. Nick are one in the same at our house.  In fact, I recently told L that St. Nick lives in Heaven but his workshop is at the North Pole.  Oh geez.  Santa doesn't come on Christmas; the presents that morning are all from us.

Nativity that sits in the living room.

Decorated bookshelf.

Wise men from the Nativity, beginning their journey from the Far East of the living room.
Just today I learned that Arwen's kids leave their shoes out on Epiphany, filled with lettuce or hay.  Then the Wise Men come, feed the shoes' contents to their camels, and replace it with candy and whatnot.  I LOVE this idea and we'll be doing that this year, for sure.

We're slowly building a collection of Christmas books.  I'd love to eventually have enough to do the "wrap 25 books and have the kids open one every day and read it to them" thing but we've got a way to go.

St. Nick, hanging out by the book basket.

The book I'll be reading through to prepare my own heart for the coming of Our Lord.

Oh! - and where's our tree?  Well, that won't be put up until Gaudete Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent.  That's also the day we plug in the outside lights and begin listening to Christmas music.  We have found that it's a great way to help us all Rejoice (Gaudete is Latin for 'rejoice') and celebrate that our Savior is coming!

I'll see you back tomorrow for the exciting beginning of the Advent Series!


  1. Love the decoration for Advent Season.

  2. I love the wreath, especially knowing that some of it's from your wedding! And your stocking holder are adorable. I've been trying to find cute ones for months!

    Everything looks great! Thanks for linking up! :)

  3. The Christmas book basket is a great idea! We may have to adopt that one. Easy to do and so fun.

  4. This is so exciting! Yes, Santa IS St. Nick. I mean, right? He comes on his feast day, then for some reason also comes on Christmas, BUT lots of other people contribute presents for Christmas, too (patron saints, the reindeer, the dogs, some elves...). So pretty much it's a free for all, all of us trying to one-up each other on the ridiculous "from" portion of the label :)

  5. Love how all the nativity "characters" are traveling around the house. That is what I do but my family just thinks I'm nuts. I love St. Therese of Lisieux and might have to look for that book :)

  6. Awww I love the pink baby stocking! Everything looks great!

  7. Looks great and festive!! The wreath is especially sweet with wedding remnants, talk about your reuse, reduce, recycle...woo hoo! ;-)
    My sister and her husband also celebrate the King's with the shoes and all that jazz, I never knew about that tradition until they had kids and introduced it to them (he's from Puerto Rico and that was a big tradition for his family)! The kids love it!!

  8. I do the traveling nativity people too. I think it's so fun to act out the story. My kids didn't seem to care much last year. Hopefully they are old enough this year to understand a little better.

    And I love the wreath!