Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

 This content uses referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info. This means if you make a purchase, I get a little change to keep up my Diet Coke habit.…

Some favorite Lenten crafts Part 1

Over the years I have done a number of crafts with my family that have enhanced our Lenten experience.

This is one of my favorites and I first found it on


  • 4 c Flour
  • 1 c Salt Water (used strong tea for color).
  • Toothpicks (broken in half)
  • Combine flour and salt.
  • Mix in enough water to make a stiff clay.
  • Roll three long ropes and braid them as tightly as possible.

lent 2011

Form the braid into a circle to make the wreath.

lent 2011

lent 2011

lent 2011

Take a candle and make indentations for six candles in the wreath. (optional)
Stick toothpicks into the wreath in every direction to represent the thorns.

lent 2011

Two Options :
1) Bake braid at 300 degrees for on hour or until dry and brown. Can bake on parchment paper. When done the thorns should be easily removed. Turn oven off and let it cool slowly to avoid cracking.
2). Let braid air dry for 24-48 hours until rock hard.

lent 2011

The original instructions said to insert candles into the wreath, and then use them for prayer time.  We never did that but it sounds like a lovely idea.  Another idea was to remove one of the thorns every time one of the children performed a Lenten sacrifice.  From the Catholic parenting site.

Each time the children say a prayer, uncomplainingly perform a moritifcation or otherwise live up to the spirit of Lent, they are allowed to remove a toothpick 'thorn' from the crown. This helps them to understand how are sacrifices and good works can comfort Him. It also gives the children a very visible goal to have removed all the thorns by Easter time arrives. Without the thorns, the crown can be brightly painted and adorned with glitter and beads to make it a beautiful crown signifying our new life with Christ. Or represent the crown of the risen Christ.

Instead, we have used the wreath as a centerpiece on our table, and this year I am going to hang it on our door (the door in the living room so that people won't get poked by the protruding toothpicks! (pictures of that to come after we get it done!)

lent 2011