I am *so* excited for Advent this year.
Mary is old enough now to really get what Advent is about. We did a Jesse tree and some crafts last year but she was only two and I think she will get a lot more out of it this year.
There are a few traditions that I have wanted to introduce to my kids since I converted when I was in high school. I used to go to my best friend’s house and they would do all these neat things for Advent and I remember being so jealous.
Here is some of our plans:
Advent wreath & prayers each night with dinner
I have threatened my husband on pain of death that he is NOT allowed to go out of town during Advent. We’ll see if that works but if he does get sent out of town I might just march my daughter into his office to talk to his boss and tell her to look sad and say “why do you keep sending my Daddy away from us?” That’ll teach him!
Anyway. Last January I bought a few books and things from a Catholic book store that had all their Christmas items marked down to 50% off. I got a neat little booklet of nightly prayers to go with the lighting of the wreath so Nathaniel will read that when we light our candles.
I have a few crafts to help Mary learn about the advent wreath and why we use it, I’ll post about those as we do them.
I’m frustrated that I haven’t been able to find an advent calendar that I like that has something to add for each day of Advent rather than just the month of December so I’m going to make one. I haven’t decided yet just how elaborate it will be but I only have a couple weeks so I need to get going! I think Mary and Luke will both have a chocolate one for December, my mom will see to that but I want a Nativity focused one too.
I have quite a few of these that will be set up in various places around our home. We have the little people one for them to play with and I am thinking St. Nicholas might bring a new one too. I have a ceramic one that we got from my in-laws for Christmas one year (I so LOVE having nativity sets around our home, that’s another thing I didn’t have growing up) that we will slowly add to over the weeks. The kings from that set will start out on the opposite side of the room and slowly journey every week until Epiphany. 🙂
I have a ridiculous amount of Christmas books. It’s kind of embarrassing really. I think I’m going to pack away most of the books we normally have in our basket and just fill it with Christmas books.
St. Nicholas will also be bringing each of my kids a book. There were so many I wanted to order, it was tough just picking one each!
Maybe I will even finish posting all of our ornaments this year… I posted lots on the Jesse tree last year but I’m excited to do it with Mary again this year.
St. Nicholas Day
St. Nicholas Day is December 6th. The kids will leave their shoes by the door with a carrot in them (for his horse) for St. Nicholas to fill. They will get a book, new slippers, some gold coins, and if I can find one another toy nativity set. We will also do crafts and have special snacks and a special dinner on this day. It was so fun last year we are looking forward to it already!
St. Lucia Day
Mary is old enough this year to do this, we will bake special buns the night before and she will get to dress up like St. Lucy and wake everyone up for a special breakfast.
Wow this is getting long. I will try to continue to blog our activities as we do them. Advent is going to be great this year because we are not leaving for my parent’s house until the 23rd so hopefully I will have more time to blog!