So this is what Advent looks like at our house this year:
Advent wreath hung from the dining room chandelier, aka How to have an Advent wreath and a toddler peacefully co-exist. We light the candles at dinner time, and dim the electric lights. Anthony gets very excited when we do this. I think he's sensing that Something Special is happening, even if he has no idea what it's all about yet.
Purple and pink table linens, courtesy of my mother. She had these on our dining room table during Advent when I was younger, and she gave them to me when I got married.
Empty manger, with a pitiful number of hay strands haha. I took these photos on I think Monday of the first week of Advent. The idea is that we add a piece of hay for each small sacrifice we make in order to make room in our hearts for the Baby Jesus, to prepare our hearts to receive him at Christmas. The idea is similar to St. Therese's sacrifice beads. We tried it last year, but mostly forgot because the manger was in sort of an out-of-the-way place. It's a bit more respectable-looking for the Baby Jesus this year, but there are still two and a half weeks left!
Happy Advent everyone!