Question and Answer Thursday: Advent Traditions

December 1st is tomorrow! Time for me to rush around the city looking for pink and purple candles for our Advent wreath (why do I always wait for the last minute?).

Every Sunday up until Christmas we light our Advent wreath and read the corresponding Scriptures. Each child gets to take turns lighting the candles and reading. We also will light these at dinner during the week, but only with a little reminder about the candle’s meaning. We have also done the Advent Alphabet [This link will probably not work…if anyone on WordPress can clue me in to what I’m doing wrong, I’ll be forever grateful! For old-fashioned cut and paste: http://www.theologic.com/oflweb/xmas/alphabet.htm%5D. This is a fun game, especially for little guys. It comes from our Greek Orthodox friends, so you may have to tweak it here or there. My children love it.

I was thinking about this game yesterday and how my kids now know all of the answers when my doorbell rang. My dear friend, Julie, had come to give us a new Advent, or Jesse, tree that she and her children made for us!! I was so excited. It is a huge, green felt tree that you put on the wall. They cut out 25 different symbols and included a guide with Scripture that tells the salvation story from Genesis to John. Some of the symbols are an ark, an altar, a coat of many colors, a whale, and the familiar manger and star. This is so wonderful…it connects the Old Testament stories with the coming of Jesus, which is often lost in the week-by-week Sunday School setting. I so wish I could load a picture for you! Maybe St. Nicolas is packing his bag right now for me with a new computer!

So, my Thursday question for you is this: How do you celebrate Advent in your home?

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5 Comments

Filed under Babies & Kids, Question and Answer

5 responses to “Question and Answer Thursday: Advent Traditions

  1. Jeanne

    I have heard of this before and I think we are going to start it in our home.
    The empty manger: Each child may have his own individual manger, or there may be one manger for the whole family. The idea is that when acts of service, sacrifice, or kindness are done in honor of Baby Jesus as a birthday present, the child receives a piece of straw to put into the manger. Then, on Christmas morning, “Baby Jesus” is placed in the manger. Encourage your children to make Jesus’ bed as “comfortable” as possible through their good deeds. In the process, explain Christ’s incomparable self-gift at Christmas and Easter that enables us to be part of God’s family. I found this and other wonderful ideas here: http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0372.html

  2. Whenever I click on one of your links, it has your WordPress addy in the front. When I put in a link, I open another browser (another tab if you have IE7, which is well-worth a download) and open the page I want to link to. Then, I highlight the address, and right click on it, selecting Copy. Then, in my Write window, I highlight the words that I want the link to correspond to and click on the link button towards the middle of the tools in the Write window, opening the link tool. Then, paste the link address in the first line, decide if you want it to open in a new or same window, and optionally add text in the bottom “description” line, which will show up when someone rolls their pointer over it. Then, click the Insert button, and you’re set!

    Sorry if that’s what you’re already doing!!

  3. Nita

    We haven’t done any Advent celebrations yet and so I am so excited to read these and try to come up with one for our family! Thanks!

  4. Besides leaving the manger empty, don’t forget to put the magi somewhere far away in the house and gradually draw them closer and closer until Jan 6 when we conclude the Incarnation Season with the “Manifestation of the Light of Christ to the Gentiles.” This builds the suspense, adds to the high drama, continues the celebration throughout the whole 12 days, and then–this is important–demonstrates that Christ came into the world FOR A REASON, and while “my salvation” is crucial, it is much, much more than that. He came because God loves the whole world and longs for all to accept Him and be saved.
    Thanks for your thoughts… Oh, and I can help with your links if you want.

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