If you read my blog for very long, you'll find that there are two things that I love the most: special breads with special shapes for holidays and the Jesse Tree. I get so excited about them and love to share when they turn out lovely. But I'm really bad at, like, everything else - so don't take this organization as the standard for the rest of my life. Still I hope some of these ideas can be helpful to others.
This year, I started early to organize my ornaments and readings - not quite so handmade, but neat and tidy and that makes me happy.
1. I bought an ornament storage box from Lowes. We now have two sets of ornaments, so I wanted a way to organize the ornaments by day - and easily see if we're missing something. I made a fancy, pretty, handmade ornament holder a few years ago, which kept spilling and my husband thought it was a fire hazard - so, a pretty little fail. This year I went to Lowes. The box has 48 compartments, so I put two days in the first four compartments to make room for 52. I wrote the numbers in the compartments with a gold pen. We'll keep the box under the tree (once we have a tree!)
We keep the book in a basket in the living room with our other read alouds and nativity books, and my Old Testament timeline in a plastic sleeve. We try to read at night after dinner, but don't sweat it if we get behind. I'm so grateful for all of the people who organized the Jesse Tree ornaments and readings in the first place!
3. I made an easy 40 day Advent calendar printable. While I LOVE the Jesse Tree, it doesn't provide a visual way to see how far you've come/have left to go - and you can't find commercial calendars with 40 days. There are a lot of complicated projects you can do to make your own, but this year I made a simple printable instead. We put it on the fridge, and I thought we could draw the ornament symbol or X each day. Grab the PNG below to print. (If you haven't see it yet, I made a prettier one for 2016 with stars - check it out here!)
These organizers aren't necessary, of course, but now they're done - they make my fast a bit simpler and prettier - and maybe they'll make next year easier, too. So hopefully I can continue to move through the fast a bit more quietly now.
Wishing you a good fast!