Some of you have asked for very simple plans regarding Advent. I thought I would share the very simple things my family and I are doing each week. Some things are geared toward the youngest members of the family, and some are not. You can just pick and choose and take what resonates with you out of this as a good match for your family!
Throughout Advent, I will be using this book for my own meditation:http://www.amazon.com/Monastery-Journey-Christmas-Victor-Antoine-DAvila-Latourrette/dp/0764820818 and for the children we will read the Gospel portion of the day’s lectionary out loud. I am also working through the Book of Isaiah on my own.
I think the main thing to keep in mind is that Advent is a time to slow down, and just enjoy each other, to pray, to fast, to repent, to prepare – so if having a list like the following pressures you or makes you feel not happy inside, then don’t do it or again, pick and choose for your own family what is best.
These are some of my ideas for this week; we may not do them all at all!
26 – Set up our Nativity Feast seasonal table and Advent wreath; I will be continuing to sew some little felt animals for a stocking stuffer swap. If you are looking for a way to mark the days of Advent, there are many ideas on the Internet. Here is one such idea using a spiral: http://rhythmofthehomeblog.com/11/holiday-crafting-celebrating-advent-with-renee-of-heirloom-seasons/
27 – First Sunday In Advent – plant paperwhite bulbs, set up Advent wreath and light the first candle – In Sunday School we will be talking about Advent wreaths, the color purple, and the prophet Isaiah.
28 Monday – There is a sweet little puppet play in the Seasons of Joy “Advent Ebook” that I am planning to do, and all the kingdoms of Nature are represented, which reminds me of Isaiah’s peaceable kingdom. You can find the Seasons of Joy Advent E-book here: http://ourseasonsofjoy.com/
29 Tuesday – Start practicing Saint Nicholas Day songs; tell a story about Saint Nicholas. We may also do some wet felting of river rocks. You can see the Seasons of Joy e-book for more ideas.
30 Wednesday - Continue singing songs; make candles with seashells inside for gifts (I plan to just use canning jars) and tell our Saint Nicholas Day story
1 Thursday – Continue singing songs and telling stories for Saint Nicholas Day, go outside at night and look at the stars, and be silent and thank God for our place in His Cosmos. There is a lovely Vespers chant for Advent called “Loving Creator of the Stars” that you can find on You Tube for this occasion.
The Anglican Communion and also the Ukranian Orthodox remember Bishop Nicholas Ferrar on this day (he is also mentioned on some of the Celtic Christian websites): http://fullhomelydivinity.org/articles/Nicholas%20Ferrar.htm .
2 Friday – Continue singing songs and telling stories for Saint Nicholas Day, and also have children make stars for the Christmas tree. I am thinking of using this pattern from Wee Folk Art: http://weefolkart.com/content/stuffed-star-ornaments
3 Saturday – . On this day I am planning some time for me to craft alone to make straw stars and some of the beautiful tissue paper transparencies from this Christmas crafting book: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Craft-Book-Thomas-Berger/dp/0863158277/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322311185&sr=1-1
If you are looking for more ideas for Advent, here are some of my favorite links:
- Praying in Advent, for your own inner work: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/beginning-Advent.html
- Elizabeth Foss has three different ways to approach Advent for homeschooling: http://www.ebeth.typepad.com/serendipity/preparing-for-christmas.html
- Grace over at Uncommon Grace has some thoughts and ideas here: http://uncommongrace.typepad.com/uncommongrace/2011/11/15-november.html
- I have already mentioned the Seasons of Joy Advent E-book: http://ourseasonsofjoy.com/
- I see Jodie Mesler of Home Music Making has a new Christmas book out: http://www.homemusicmaking.blogspot.com/
- Here are thoughts about fasting for this season: http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.com/2011/11/nativity-fast.html
- Here are a number of Advent resources from an Anglican perspective: http://anglicansonline.org/special/advent.html
- And I love this link from Full Homely Divinity about the Saints of Advent: http://fullhomelydivinity.org/articles/advent%20saints.htm and Rediscovering Advent: http://fullhomelydivinity.org/articles/advent.htm
- Also, please use all the back posts on this blog regarding Advent and the different Saints