Advent Planning and Sharing

Good morning all!  It’s a cold morning here on the day after Thanksgiving – the perfect morning for a warm fire and hot chocolate!  I’m sitting here with my planner open and checking off tasks that were completed this week…and adding a few extra, and I realized I hadn’t shared our Advent plans here yet!

Advent will be here in just a couple of days and I’m putting the finishing touches on our preparations!  I have a few things left to do:

  • Organize Advent book baskets
  • Set up Advent wreath
  • Hang Advent calendars  {In case you’re looking for Beeswax Advent candles, I highly recommend the Advent set from Big Dipper Wax Works!  We’ve used them for several years, and they burn clean, are beautiful, rich colors, and drip very little.}
  • Finish Advent menu {remember, we have the Wintertide Ember days on December 18, 20, 21.}
  • Make final decisions on St. Nicholas stocking treasures
  • Look ahead to Christmas – check everyone’s closet for Christmas Mass clothes and fill in any missing items.
  • Wrap up all my list-making and final organization checks.  :)  Speaking of list making and getting organized for Advent, I have a question for you – how do you organize for Advent?  Paper or digital?  Lists or spreadsheets?  Baskets or Shelf?
How do you organize for Advent? 

Do you use an app?  I’ve heard Santa’s Bag is really great for getting all your Christmas plans organized.  
And me?  Well, I do love technology!  I really do!  But…at heart…I’m a paper girl!  I have always used my planner to stay organized for the Liturgical Year and I still do!  
For the first time in several years, I’m using a new planner, and I confess, I’m loving it!  It’s definitely a post all on its own…for another day!  
{For those of you that just CANNOT wait for a crazy-lengthy-gut-spilling-multi-pen-colored-embellished-gazillions-of-pictures-of-my-planner-post {{LOL!!!}}…I’ve spent the last month setting up my new Erin Condren {customizable} Life Planner.  Before you choke at the price, do consider that if you break the price down monthly, this planner will cost you $4.16/month to stay organized.  However…fair warning – the planner is pricey!  Even considering the price, I’m finding it to be a fantastic and helpful planner for me.  More later on this important topic, friends!  :)  Because…surely the web needs yet ANOTHER Erin Condren Life Planner review??  Seriously – go google it!} 
ANYYYYYYWAY…I keep my Advent plans tucked right behind my planner in my desk organizer and refer to both often.  
I typically look at my planner at the beginning of the week and gather any special craft supplies, and then at the beginning of the day I make sure our Advent books are set out for our reading time.  
I’d love to know how you organize for Advent?  Do you use an app?  A spreadsheet?  Your planner?  A combination? 
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So, how are your Advent plans coming along?  Have you gathered your Advent books and are you gathering the final things necessary for this season of quiet and preparation?

Below, I’m linking a free pdf to this year’s Advent plans, keyed to the Liturgical Calendar {1962 calendar for the Extraordinary Form} with Advent prompts for following along with the Feasts and days of the season.  I’ve included a list of books at the end of the plans, and only mention specific books if the book addresses a Feast specifically.  There are lots of blanks for you to fill in the books from your own book baskets on the plans!  I hope they’re helpful to you!

Here are a few links from past Advent plans {many contain links to fantastic Advent reading}, some background on Ember Days, and more free, printable Advent resources to help you along with your Advent planning:

Advent Reading
Embertide Reading
 Take Joy

And now…the disclaimer.  I’m borrowing a favorite phrase from Tasha Tudor.  You all know that some seasons – some Advents – are to be lived out more simply and quietly than others, right?  Last year was an extremely simple Advent for our family since I was pregnant.  And that was great!  Other Advents in our family have been that simple…or even more so!  This year, I get to add to the things we’re doing because of my energy level and the help I have.  :)  So…pray about your season of life.  Choose simply and wisely.  Do not compare your family, your needs, organizational skills, abilities, or your crafting skills to others, but rather, take joy in choosing ideas that work for you and your family.

Wishing you all a very blessed, quiet and holy season of preparation!
Do share your organizing tools and tips with me in the comment box!  I’d love to hear about them as I work more in my planner!