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Advent Day 15

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Rejoice! Recoice!


It’s the third Sunday of Advent, this begins the week when we focus on Joy. We’ve passed the halfway point in advent and begin to really get excited about the coming of Christmas. It’s time for Joy, but what does that mean?


In America, we are expected to pursue happiness, but how do we cultivate joy? What’s the difference? It seems to me, that happiness is easily influenced by external forces, but joy seems to bubble up from within us and can be tapped regardless of circumstance. Over the next few days reflecting on the nature of joy and singing songs that bring me joy. Also, because the pressure of last minute holiday shopping cause levels of anxiety capable of damping even the loudest joy (though never silencing it completely), we’ll be offering up some quick, easy and inexpensive crafts that will be sure to bring a smile. 


As we enter this week, I want to express how much joy your shares, comments, posts and texts have brought us, and how incredibly grateful we are for all of you.. We hope that this small offering is bringing some joy to your season.

Activity: Marbled Tile Coasters

Overview

This simple craft is super inexpensive, quick, and allows you to set things on fire!


You’ll need:

  • Tiles (these were $.33 a piece at our local hardware store)
  • Permanent markers (I found fine tipped didn’t work very well) 
  • Rubbing alcohol, the higher % the better (look for 92% at the drugstore, and it works best in a spray bottle)
  • Aluminum foil, a cookie sheet, a grill lighter
  • Optional-metallic paint and rubber bumpers


Note: When working with fire, please be careful and take all necessary safety precautions!

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Design and Ignite!

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  1. Place tile on aluminum foil covered cookie sheet
  2. Scribble all over the tile
  3. Spray alcohol over your tile (try to cover as much surface as possible without drenching things)
  4. Lean back, light it

Finishing Touches and Gifting!

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  1. (optional) paint sides with metallic paint add rubber bumpers to prevent scratching
  2. Once dry, seal with spray top coat
  3. Give to someone awesome

Advent Day 16

Go Tell It on the Mountain

 When I think of joyful songs, this is definitely in my top 10. The "shout it from the rooftops" sentiment coupled with a tune that is both classic and playful taps into something deep within me and I can't help but smile. 


This week will be filled with songs that elicit joy and activities that will hopefully provide some ideas for last minute one-of-a-kind gifts. In my experience, nothing sparks joy for me more than giving someone something truly unique. 


We would love to hear how you cultivate joy during the holidays and throughout the year. Join the conversation on our Facebook page! 


Have a joyful Monday! 

Advent Day 17

Venite Adoremus Dominum

There is a joy in anticipation, a mix of hope, possibility and uncertainty that makes room for magic and miracles. We're a week away for Christmas Eve and preparation is starting to turn into excitement. The work of advent is becoming the act of celebration. Now is a good time to share your joy.

Advent Day 18

On This Day Earth Shall Ring

When I was little, I was pretty sure "ideo" encapsulated some incredible truth or meant "woo-hoo" in Latin, because that was how it felt to sing it. Apparently literally translates to "therefore" which, I guess is cool too. For me, it still feels like "woo-hoo!" 

Activity: Snow Globe Ornament

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Materials

Snow globe ornament (I got these at Dollar Tree), printed pictures sized to fit, cardboard, glue, glitter, utility knife 

Steps

  1. Use utility knife to cut cardboard for backing
  2. Glue images to backing
  3. I added stones for weight and to keep things upright, glue down. 
  4. Remove hang top 
  5. Slide image into ornament and twist on bottom
  6. Pour glitter into hole at the top and replace top

Advent Day 19

Joy to the World

This is the quiet, reflective, lullaby version of Joy to the World. Truth be told, we recorded this after a long day. I was laying in bed, exhausted. I had the cat on my chest and my beloved and his guitar beside me, overwhelmed with joy. 


I hope you're finding moments of solace in this season.

ACTIVITY: wake Up Sugar Scrub

Note: There are a plethora of recipes and tutorials for sugar scrubs which vary widely. I ended up just kind of going by feel, so you might want to try a few recipes to find your favorite 

You'll need:

coconut oil, sugar, coffee grounds, and vanilla (optional), mixing bowl, spoon, airtight containers (I used old Trader Joe's body butter jars) 

Mix it up:

 I started with the three main ingredients in close to equal measure. I softened the coconut oil, but tried not to melt because it did weird stuff after being liquefied. Mix together. I had to add more sugar a few times and a fair amount of vanilla because the coffee scent was intense

Good Luck!

Let me know if you have tried and true scrub recipes, pretty please! 

Advent Day 20

I Saw Three Ships

 All right, I'm not an expert, but I'm not sure ships could sail into Bethlehem until sea levels rise a bit. Unfortunately, it looks like collectively, we're not doing much to avert that. 

Activity: Custom Canvas

What you'll need:

Canvas tote bag, printer transfer paper (as discussed, you can use the shiny side of printer label pages with the labels removed), fabric markers, fabric paint

Steps

  • Find a cool image with an outline
  • Print onto transfer paper
  • Apply smoothly and firmly
  • Color imaginatively

Advent Day 21

Friendly Beasts

I think this might be the most stressful day of the year.  Last minute shopping, travel, and for many families prepping for a massive Christmas pageant. It seems to be the part of the season when the wheels fall off, even if you've planned. Our solution, utter silliness and some time with family.