With my 2006 reversion to the Catholic faith came an acute awareness that I'd always rushed Christmas and missed on the beauty and joy of the season of ADVENT! That glorious period of preparing and waiting on the birth of my Lord and Savior on the Feast of the Nativity (aka Christmas) absent from our traditions. The irony, when I include the celebration of the season of Advent, it actually prolong that beloved feeling of joy associated with Christmas! So ... from the Saturday after Thanksgiving until the Epiphany (some time in January) this family rocks all the liturgical calendar has to offer.
One of my favorite advent calendars I was inspired to create included wrapping new (and recycled) Advent/Christmas themed book and placing them in a basket. Each morning one of my children would unwrap the book; we'd share it all cuddled up on the couch - and then enjoy our breakfast. This is also a wonderful way to begin to foster morning prayer time.
If it was a feast day such as St. Nicholas Day on December 6th; the children would have also found their shoes filled with oranges, small trinkets and chocolate. As a germaphobe ... I have to admit this usually involved me buying their CHRISTMAS shoes early so we'd be placing the edibles in CLEAN shoes!!
My friend, Heidi Bratton shared an amazing tradition when she visited my radio show, A Seeking Heart last week. During Advent, her family holds candlelit dinners. They start in complete darkness and sing a hymn, then her children take turns each night lighting the Advent wreath. This is probably my favorte part -- then they would eat by only that light!
It is simple the ways we can slow the season and be sure to keep Advent...well, Advent. Christmas will be here soon enough! Share you ideas in the comments below; and be sure to visit the other fabulous Keeping Advent posts on this month's Catholic Women Bloggers Network Blog Hop!
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Some of my Favorite Advent Resources