2013 Christmas Advent Calendar

Christmas is such a special time of the year, but it can easily become one of the most stressful times of the year too.

I want to get lost in the season, but it’s so easy to forget the reason: Jesus. Vitaliy and I have made a few crucial decisions this year in order to best enjoy this special time.

1. We worked our butts off to deliver all 2013 weddings before Thanksgiving. Woohoo!

2. We said no to any family portraits past November 1 so that our workload stayed manageable. Saying no to potential income is always scary so it was really a test of faith.

3. We decided against taking a self-portrait for our Christmas cards this year. You can see 2011′s picture at the top of this previous post.

4. We decided not to take a picture because we’re not going to send out Christmas cards this year. I’m still mourning this decision, but you can enjoy 2012′s Christmas card.

One of the things we’ve always wanted to do was create an Advent Calendar for ourselves. Thanks to Kate from Style Smaller, we now have a simple and achievable way to make it happen. We hope to use this calendar for two things. 1. To enjoy the simple pleasures and traditions of the Christmas season. 2. To reflect on the importance and significance of the birth of Jesus.

Here are few ideas we’ve come up with so far.

1. Begin John Piper’s daily reflection of the Christmas story.

2. Schedule and invite friends for a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie night.

3. Make homemade Christmas cards together and send them to our Compassion sponsored children.

4. Drop everything and do something spontaneous together.

5. Begin creating a 2013 family photo album.

6. Go caroling with our community group.

We’re going to spend this weekend designing and planning the rest of our advent calendar before December starts on Sunday. Have any suggestions for us? I’d love any ideas you want to share in the comments section. And if you don’t have access to mini boxes like these from Paper Source, you can also use envelopes like we did for this valentine’s advent calendar.

All styling by the lovely Kate from Style Smaller for Pictilio. Thank you! She also recommends filling a few boxes with sweet treats like cookies or Hershey kisses.

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