Totally Missing the Point
With my 2006 reversion to the Catholic faith came an acute awareness that for most of my life I had rushed Christmas. I missed out 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) clearly absent from my family's traditions. The irony here? When I do include the celebration of the season of Advent, it actually prolongs that beloved feeling of joy associated with Christmas! So ... from the Saturday after Thanksgiving (although technically Advent begins on December 3, 2017) until the Epiphany (some time in January) this family rocks all the liturgical calendar has to offer.
Catholic Women Bloggers Know How to Advent
My family is changing so quickly. I miss having my little kids eager to celebrate the season with me. However, I do still have an 11 year-old and lots of great memories to sustain me each year. Here are a few Advent memories my family loved.
Advent Calendar of Books
One of my favorite homemade advent calendars included wrapping new (and recycled from our bookshelf) Advent and Christmas themed books. I numbered them and placed them in a basket. Each morning one of my children would unwrap the book; since they were homeschooled by in those days, we'd read it all cuddled up on the couch before beginning our day. This is also a wonderful way to begin to foster morning prayer time.
St. Nicholas, the real Santa
On the special feast days of December (and there are several good ones include Our Lady of Guadalupe) 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 NEW CHRISTMAS shoes early so we'd be placing those edibles in CLEAN shoes!!
Special Family Moments
My friend, Heidi Bratton shared an amazing tradition when she visited my radio show, A Seeking Heart in 2016 to discuss her then new book - Finding God's Peace in Everyday Challenges (**in which the struggle Faith and I had when first united is featured). 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 favorite part of the tradition-- they would then dine only by that light! I'd be happy these days just to get all three of my children to be together at the TABLE for a meal.
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 Advent Traditions My Family Loves posts on this month's Catholic Women Bloggers Network Blog Hop!
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Save the above image - and snap a photo according to the days theme (you can find these next to each accompanying Advent date on the graphic).
Then hashtag #SnapAdvent and the theme you are sharing - it is OK if you do multiple days at a time - it is the holidays we WILL all have a day or 2 that we fall behind! DON'T forget to tag me @reconciledtoyou ! You can also tag either of my partner in creating the original ADVENTure SnapAdvent: Laure Lynch @lynchlm
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and SnapChat:
Not on Instagram but still want to participate? Or perhaps just want to post in multiple places - I know I will be. DON'T Forget to tag me @reconciledtoyou (on all social media platforms) and include #SnapAdvent (or #SnapAdvent2017) and a hashtag for the day's theme.
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016 (reprint 2017)
How Do YOU Advent?