Here is my basic list of Advent resources. These are all things you can do quickly and easily, if you stay calm. Remember, nobody does everything! It’s okay to say, “That looks nice, but I know I’ll make everyone miserable if I attempt it, so we’ll skip it this year.”
The photo above is an unfinished advent wreath. I do have some standards. The final version turned out not to require any sesame seeds.
Advent chains to print out, designed by my sister, Abby Tardiff. Cut them out, make a paper chain, and cut one each day of Advent and read what’s inside. See the chains of sin and death getting shorter and shorter until Jesus comes! Kablammo! You can tape them to purple or pink strips of paper if you like. (This version starts on Dec. 1, and Advent starts Dec. 3 this year. We never manage to do this every day anyway, so I figure it will even out.)
Jesse tree ornaments and scripture readings. This could be a very quick project if you have low ambitions. Just cut out a bunch of cardboard discs and draw a simple picture on each one, then hang them with a paper clip. Or craft quickly! (Again, these were designed for a longer Advent than we’re getting this year. So you’ll have extra, big deal.)
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, words for all eight verses I don’t want to hear any grousing! It’s a good song.
Today is probably the last day to order, if you have Prime!
How to make a good-enough Advent wreath because it’s gonna be dark anyway:
Buy a cheapo twisted twig wreath at the dollar store, then use about forty yards of thread to strap evergreen branches down thoroughly. If you didn’t get purple and pink candles, use white, and tie on bows made of ribbon or cloth in the right colors. It’s hard to attach candles to they stand up, so you can find glass candle holders and the dollar store and set inside the wreath. Put the whole thing on a pizza pan, so you can easily move it off the table and store it in a safe, unpunchable place when it’s not in direct use. Little berries and pinecones and bells and doves are nice, but so it just plain greenery: Green for hope, round for eternity.
Another very easy Advent tradition that we manage to keep as a family most years: “fast” from dessert except on Sundays. I take what money I would have spent, and buy extra food for the church’s food pantry.
And finally: Get to confession. Here are a few different examinations of conscience. Do that during Advent, and you did Advent right. Ta dah!
Who’s got other resources to share? Feel free to leave links to anything relevant in the comments.