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Celebrating Advent

This has to be the favorite time of year for our family.  This year we celebrate Advent, not just awaiting and preparing for Christ to come, but we are also waiting for our third edition to our family to make his appearance.  

While I’m exhausted and tired all at the same time, we are doing different things to celebrate Advent.  This year we are following along with Holy Heroes Advent Adventure.  My youngest (4 year old) is very much into the stories and the videos, and I’m glad that they still capture the attention of my oldest (7 year old).  

We didn’t have a Jesse tree to make, so we made a tree out of cardboard, streamer paper and glitter and glue.  Time consuming, yes, but they enjoyed the project.

advent tree countdown to advent
In the meantime, we decided to go with nativity scene that was made by Mellissa and Doug, while reading meditations for Advent.

advent_02
 

Finally, no Advent would be complete without an Advent wreath.  Well, we got the candles together, but the wreath is actually made of felt.  I know that down the line we’re going to get a real Advent wreath, but right now we’re going to make due with what we have.  I have electric candles–battery operated (that I use for everything) and had the kids help me “decorate it” for Advent.  I would have loved for them to all the be same size, but again, I’ll make due with what I have.

The goal is to get the kids involved, and as they grow, the tradition will grow with them.  We still focus on the sacredness of lighting the candles (turning on the switch because open flame and energetic kids are a no-no in my book), and we pray.  We focus on the coming of Christ, not just for Christmas, but what it means in our lives.

advent candles
Even though my children are too young for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I try to remind them to go over their day, find out what they could have done better, and how they could be a better person tomorrow.  We make small sacrifices throughout the day, to remind us that Advent is like a little Lent.

Meanwhile all of this is going on while homeschooling, here are a few things that I can share (even though our plates can be full at any given time!)

  1.  Do what you can!  As I write this, I’m 37 weeks pregnant, still have to pack, and have been trying to get this post done for the past week.  Its important that you’re doing something.  It doesn’t have to be as great as Beth from down the street, but it has to be what you’re comfortable doing.  We don’t do elf on a shelf in this family.  Personally, I think it’s great for social media, but for me get up every day and try to find a new location for this elf–that’s not happening!
  2. Don’t go overboard.  We’ve heard of the saying that sometimes less is more.  I think the same thing applies to this.  Traditionally, we have an Advent wreath, and a Nativity scene.  We read meditations while preparing for Jesus on Christmas, and listen to Advent music.  This year, we do have the tree up early (because I’m expected to deliver sometime around Christmas), but we didn’t light the tree.  While I would love to put the tree up later, this will have to work for my family.
  3. Enjoy the time with the Children.  What ever ages your kids are this year, chances are they won’t remember all the details that you put into the decorations, but they walk away with the traditions that you did with them every year.

 

How does your family planning on celebrating Advent this year?