Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We do that every Advent!

Our Advent this year is beginning to feel "traditional". We are beginning to say "we always do this during advent"....in a good way! We also have added some things and fine tuned others. Nothing is set in stone, but we have a good rhythm going.

For the record, as a part of the collective memory, and so that next year, when the kids say "Don't you remember Mama? We do that every year!", I will have a place to go so I can remember...here is the list as it stands this Advent. It will probably take me two blog posts to get it all down. 

The Christmas Novena: This is a new addition. We began on St. Andrew's Feast Day and are still going strong. God willing, we will make it all the way till Christmas. Too bad we didn't know about this when we lived in Scotland as St. Andrew is the Patron of Scotland.

We made the chaplets and I found the little holy cards with the prayer on the back. We pray the novena each morning during circle time.

 Play nativity scenes: We started this about two years ago when I bought the Little People Nativity Set. Since then we added a small wooden scene as well. This year, the kids got the beginnings of a Fontanini Nativity scene (the Holy Family and an Angel). My plan is to add to it each year in their stockings or for a sibling gift (see tomorrow's post about this) and mark their pieces with a pen on the bottom. Then, somewhere along the line, they will each get the core set (Holy Family and Angel) and will be able to take their pieces with them when they grow up, which, by the way, is never going to happen, right? Humor me, please!

Working with our new Fontanini nativity scene.
 Our Advent Tree with Jesse Tree ornaments: We started the Advent Tree tradition back before M. was born. We got our tree on the first Sunday of Advent and decorated it sparsly in purple, with some homemade ornaments made from old Christmas Cards. Then, on Christmas Eve we took all those down and redecorated for Christmas, leaving the tree up until the end of Christmas (or however long the real tree would last). The year before we moved to England, we perfected this process by buying a second tree on the day before Christmas Eve (or it may have been December 24). Since it was the end of the season we got it for 1 cent!! Well worth it, since the second tree was much more fresh than the one that had been in our house for four weeks.

Putting together the tree with my helpers on the First Sunday of Advent, 2010.

Then, the following year, in London, we gave in and bought a fake tree (a move that shocked my family for reasons I will share in another post, another day)---falling needles and dry tree problem solved. We can now leave it up as long as we want.
So now, it is our Jesse Tree as well. We color ornaments along with the Holy Heroes Kids.

The finished tree with the third set of lights purchased over two days and the first few Jesse Tree ornaments. Notice the purple cloth on the bottom. Since then we have added purple beads and more Jesse tree symbols. 

Holy Heroes Advent Adventure: This will be our third year doing Advent with the Holy Heroes kids. In case you are wondering, Tray is our favorite (apparently the only boy in the family, which, of course, endears him to D. immediately). When he is seen the kids erupt in cheers. Seriously. They do. I have to replay the little video so they can hear what is said! We don't do everything they do, mostly the Jesse Tree and the coloring pages. In years past we have done more of the recommended activities. Sometimes it is enough to just learn about them, and the significance of each activity. We love this FREE resource, and the products on their website as well!

Our books wrapped in purple next to our Fontanini Advent Calendar, a gift from a cousin many Christmas's ago. The print above is there year round, not just for Christmas. 

Christmas books: I think I got this idea from Shower of Roses. While in the UK I purschased quite a few Christmas themed books and we read them throughout Advent and Christmas. This year we started the tradition of wrapping them in purple paper and opening one each day. They have been put away since last Christmas so they feel like new books. We open one every week day and read it. Then it goes into our Christmas book bag to be read during free time.

For the rest of the Kennedy Family Advent Traditions tune in tomorrow....or the next day....or sometime soon. 

1 comment:

  1. I just love reading what others do. I know so many people feel stressed during ADvent, and yes, it can become stressful. But, I just love Advent. I like to take it in like sipping on hot coffee...nice and slow.

    You have beautiful traditions. (Loved the Christmas tree deal you got that one year.)