Now you know there is something exciting going on when the ultra sparkly glitter comes out of the craft cupboard on a Sunday evening!

It all started one Sunday afternoon back in late October… We were tucking into our Sunday roast, when we heard the letterbox clatter. We discovered a Christmas card lying on the doormat.

‘That’s early!’ we all remarked. ‘And hand-delivered. Whoever could have posted it?’


Inside was a folded, printed letter, from a neighbour we’ve never met, inviting us to be part of something called a ‘Living Advent Window’ display.

Volunteers around the neighbourhood were asked to take one day of advent, and on that designated day, to put some kind of festive display up at the window. It would be a way of bringing some extra Christmas joy to our community, at the end of a difficult year.

The lady organising it asked us to message back if we wanted to participate, and let her know our door number so that she could allocate us a day. She then set up a WhatsApp group to co-ordinate everything.

About a week or so later, she let us know that our household would be responsible for 11th December (which was a nice touch for me, as that was the date of my late Nan’s birthday).

It wasn’t long before messages began to fly – people introducing themselves, sharing their ideas – one good thing has already come from this – it’s been a great way to get to know our neighbours!


I’ve spent a fair amount of my spare time during November looking for inspiration on Pinterest. There are some beautiful ideas which are as simple as cutting out folded snowflakes, or drawing on the window with white marker pen.

But I must be honest, as the time has drawn closer I’ve begun to get a little bit nervous. Some of the neighbours seemed to be going all out, with amazing Christmas trees made out of wooden pallets and plans for impressive light displays.

I decided to keep things fairly simple. My main objective would be to try and capture the true reason for the season. The word JOY instantly sprang to mind, inspired by the line from the carol: Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King!”

Lydia and I had great fun cutting out these letters this evening, and dousing them in generous lashings of glitter. I had a picture in my mind’s eye of spelling out the word JOY on three ‘baubels’ and hanging them, perhaps with festive ribbon, in the three middle panels of our window. I might even try and suspend them within a hoop of greenery, using invisible wire. But this could be a mite too ambitious!

I also envisaged some kind of silhouetted Nativity Scene. To achieve this I ordered some black card, and some transparent coloured cellophane to try and make a stained glass effect.

Today, with advent now fast approaching, I decided to stop procrastinating, and make a start. Here is what I’ve managed so far:

I was initially quite pleased with the way this turned out, although it was a bit fiddly! But the problem came when my husband and I temporarily tacked it up at the window. It looked lovely our side, but from the street, you couldn’t really see a thing – it was too dark.

So it’s back to the drawing board for now to try and figure out a way of illuminating this somehow. I am really glad I started on this project early, as teething problems are bound to happen! Oh well, at least I still have time to come up with something new if this doesn’t work out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and maybe been inspired to try something like this for yourself. Please check back over the next four weeks, as I plan to post updates on this story, along with pictures of the some of the other windows in our community.

Happy Advent everyone!

3 thoughts on “Advent Windows

  1. Would sticking 20 battery powered fairy lights to the inside of your stained glass window brighten it up enough to be seen from outside? Yours is such a good idea, it seems a shame to waste it x

    1. Hi my lovely! That’s a good idea. We tried fairy lights underneath it, which made no apparent difference. But hadn’t thought of sticking any to the actual frame. They’d have to be extremely light, but I think you can buy copper wire ones now which weigh next to nothing. The good thing was, someone suggested that it might be visible from outside at night, once the lights from our house are more prominent, and sure enough, they were right – you could definitely see it better once it got dark. But ideally I’d like people to see something festive during the day too! It’s all good fun! Hope you’re well hun, will PM you for a catch up.

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