Sunday, December 6, 2015

Advent 2015 Week 1: Peace

Ok we shall see if 1) I can keep the weekly Advent updates coming and 2) if I can effectively pace myself for all the festivities.  Only with God's grace will this happen for sure.

So here's the Advent chaos that's been going on in our household this week:

Advent Calendars
Everyone needs an Advent calendar,  a way to mark off our days of anxiously waiting for the coming of our Lord. This one I purchased from the National Shrine of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes a few weeks ago. Sorry, they don't mail products.  I asked. :( Anyway, I just love this calendar! Each day, one of my children chooses another object or character to add to the Nativity scene. Our Blessed Mother will be coming on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and Baby Jesus,  well He comes on the last day of course! :)

Sacrifice Manger
I didn't come up with this idea, just liked it and decided to pass it on to my children. As a way to teach them, Advent is also a time to grow in holiness, we made this little manger out of paper. I used yarn I had in the house for hay, and cut up tons of pieces. Each time someone in the family does a good deed without being asked, acts kindly to another or loves as Jesus loves, he/she is permitted to add a piece of "hay" to the manger. By Christmas day, hopefully the manger will be full of enough soft hay for Baby Jesus' arrival. My 5 year old is REALLY into this one!

Jesse Tree
What a great way to learn the history of Jesus from bible stories beginning with Adam and Eve! I do not believe in reinventing the wheel so I used a Christmas tree that I had since my college days and put it up in our living room area. I explain to my children that this is the Jesse Tree. Each day we watch the video from Holy Heroes and color one of the Jesse Tree Ornaments that they provide free of charge from their website. You just need to register for their Advent adventure and you too could have these Jesse Tree Ornaments available to you. Everyday I'm asked "Mom what's the ornament for today?". It's a great way to encourage Bible reading as a family!

Advent Wreath
If you cannot do anything else during the Advent season, sitting down at the table together as a family around the Advent wreath is a must! Each evening for dinner we will sit around the Advent wreath light candles while singing a verse or two of O come, O come Emmanuel and my husband, being the spiritual leader in our family (more on that to come in another post), will read a very short passage from Isaiah regarding the prophecy of the coming of Jesus. Of course my children are still very little so we do have to explain what the passage means. Yet, we feel it's a nice way of introducing the prophecy of Jesus slowly but surely within this Advent season. The wonderful family time and the grace we receive at family dinners is always astounding and I encourage every family if you can do this even once a week to do it, as it's so very important for children.

So that's what we have going on during our first week of Advent. Next week hopefully I'll give you an update on what we have been doing for week 2 so stay tuned.

Blessings to you and yours,

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