Advent is upon us - one of my favorite times of the year. Anticipation. Excitement. Waiting. Patience. Sacrifice. I am soo excited now that Avila is a little older and can participate in preparing for Jesus to come. I have been thinking of and praying about our Advent activities since Avila was born and now we get to start some of them.
Some of what we do during Advent:
~Jesse Tree. But I won't start it until next year because I want to buy all the ornaments when they are super on sale after Christmas =)
~Advent Wreath. Avila helped me make the candles. I bought white pillar candles and we melted purple and pink crayons and painted the candles.
~Advent Calendars. Avila has a fabric one that hangs at her level on the wall and she gets to play with it whenever and however she wants. We also have an Advent calendar "house" with the little doors that open. Each day we pull out a slip of paper that has something for us to do. Examples: Go to Adoration. Make cookies for the neighbors. Give up TV for the souls in purgatory. Make cards for the homebound. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
~Crafts and coloring sheets. I have a different coloring sheet for each day (baby Jesus, the nativity scene, angels, etc) or a little craft to do. Since kids are such tactile learners it is a great way for them to really absorb and prepare for Christmas time.
~St. Nicholas. We will celebrate St. Nick's Day (Dec 6th) by setting out our shoes and hopefully he will fill them with little treats. :) We have also decided to celebrate Santa Claus as St. Nick and although we will still participate in the magic of Christmas by watching movies and reading books about the jolly-old-fellow, gifts on Christmas will come from "mom and dad" and Santa will be pretend. Not that we think Santa is bad, but we're trying to keep the holiday about Christ and less about anticipating what our kids will get. Avila still doesn't know gifts are coming at Christmas.
~Jesus' Manger. We have a manger (well, a basket) for Jesus to dwell upon Christmas. Each time we catch Avila doing something good, she gets to put a cotton ball in the manger. And of course we want baby Jesus' bed to be as soft as possible when He comes!
picking off the paper from our crayons before we melted them. (Got the idea from Catholic Icing)