The Christmas season might be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the busiest. With everyone running in different directions, it can be hard to get the family in one place to celebrate Advent and remember the meaning of this season! This year, we have suggestions to help you and your family slow down, get together, and enjoy Advent.
If you don’t have family traditions in place, consider starting some this year! It might seem like a daunting prospect, but you can start small. One of the easiest places to begin is with an Advent wreath. Set up a wreath in your home, and spend a few minutes each day discussing its significance. Remind your children that as Catholics, we continually celebrate God’s presence and His creation, so we should choose meaningful, symbolic decorations.
A Nativity scene is another great tradition — and you can implement it without even leaving the house. This tradition hails back to 1223, when Saint Francis of Assisi celebrated Christmas with a Bethlehem scene (live animals and all). Nativity sets are especially fun for children! Some families like to hide one figure each day of Advent and let the children find it with a small scavenger hunt. You can also set up Mary and Joseph on the opposite end of the room and have your child move them a little closer to the rest of the Nativity scene-day by-day, representing their journey to Bethlehem.
A creative way to show love to others during Advent is to assign “Advent Angels.” Let your family draw names out of a hat, and each day leading forward, everyone should go out of their way to do something nice for their assigned person. This could range from leaving a small gift on their pillow to washing the dishes for them to giving them a handwritten note.
A Jesse tree is a special, meaningful way to commemorate the season. This symbolic tree has spreading branches that show the genealogy of Jesus. Jesse was the father of King David, and he’s commonly recognized as the first person in the genealogy of Jesus. Set up a tree, and hang a new ornament on it each day.
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