Each year we practice convoluted and time consuming Advent activities.
Each evening of Advent, after dinner, we light our Advent candles, while the kids listen to Dad read the readings that, from the beginning of Advent until Christmas, trace the history of salvation leading to Jesus’ birth.
They draw pictures depicting these stories which go on a card stock Jesse Tree that goes up on the wall or window in the dining room. Then we have an appropriate Advent Drink out of our Special Advent Mugs.
I read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. After this, we do our Advent Procession, singing “O Come Divine Messiah” carrying candles and winding our way through our home in the dark, with the kids poking one another and hiding on each other.
I’m not even kidding.
We end with prayers.
It is convoluted, as I said, and time consuming – but they will not have it any other way! No. We must do All The Things.
I have several copies of A Christmas Carol, because I love it so much.
I think it’s high time we added to the collection of Scrooge-dom, so I am planning on ordering This One, looks satisfyingly creepy.
The key idea to Advent is preparation.
Preparing our hearts and our homes for the celebration of the birth of the King of Kings. It is a time to delve into a simple approach to cleaning, decorating, readying our lives for this.
Work with the excitement and fervour that is building with the little ones.
When my grown daughters started getting married, I provided for them a Bride’s Tree – meaningful decorations for their tree, each one a symbol of some aspect of a Christian family. More on that here.
We read a lot at our house, and Advent always brings out some the story books by Tomie de Paolo. Here’s a list of some of his very best.