Here are five things to do today or tomorrow in preparation for Advent:
1) Create a special corner in your house/apartment where adults and children can go to be quiet. Provide a Bible, book of daily meditations, or appropriate picture books. Put some candles (real or battery-operated) nearby to create an Advent atmosphere. Set five minutes a day set apart for quiet, prayer, mediation or for just doing nothing. Invite children to spend time in the special place.
2) Plant narcissus or amaryllis bulbs in a bowl of potting medium or in a bowl of stones with water. Watch the plants grow daily as a kind of live Advent calendar. Check the water levels daily.
3) Hang some purple (or blue) lights. There is no need to spend a lot of money. Keep it simple. Put a purple bulb in a night light, front porch light, or electric candle. (I use a purple marker and color a clear bulb when I can’t find one in a store). I bought a string of cool purple lights by Phillips for $11.99. The purple lights are a visual reminder to me that it is Advent and not yet Christmas. They are also a good conversation starter.
4) Set up an Advent wreath. (Lots of info about using Advent wreaths online or in The Season of the Nativity). I am such a failure at using the pre-formed metal or styrofoam rings; I now use four random candle sticks with purple ribbon, greens, or paper chains. Votives or recycled candles from a previous year are also candidates.
5) Download Advent Calendar Templates. Set up a table or part of a table with art supplies for drawing on the calendar.
For some other ideas about Advent read the Patheos article about Five Ways to Experience an Extreme Advent.
Paraclete Press is having a 40% off sale this weekend on my book and all of their books until Monday, December 1. Sarah Arthur has a nice book for Advent called Light upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.