Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Advent Post (finally!)

After reading all the wonderful ideas that other people are doing for advent this year, I can't go on without writing what my family and I are doing this advent. 

One advent tradition that I grew up with, was the Advent wreath.  To me, Advent just wouldn't be the same with out the wreath.  When I got married, it was the first thing we bought at the start of the Advent season.  There's just something about the lighting of the candles after dinner every night and the gentle flicker of the flames that say, "Christ is near."

This year we are added the St. Andrew Novena to our Advent wreath lighting. The kids join us on the nights we have enough time to pray before their bedtimes.  Although it seems like they don't get anything out of hearing my husband and I pray, they really are soaking it all in.  The other night, as my four year old was bouncing around on the couch, he just started saying the entire St. Andrew prayer by heart! He prayed it twice before he stopped and went back to playing.  This prayer has made me think more how the Blessed Mother felt on that night when Jesus was born.  "In piercing cold, at midnight, in Bethlehem..."  Off topic: my friend read a Christmas book to the coop class and the repeating line in the book was Mary saying to Jesus, "Tomorrow you will be King, but tonight you are my baby."  I think watching my own babies grow up makes me understand Mary's sacrifice more and more.  The mothering instinct to protect and keep your children safe is so strong; it's more strong than I could have imagined before I had my own children.  I can see now how much pain it caused Mary to know that her son would have to suffer so much.

I planned on doing the Jesse Tree this year.  I even started planning how I was going to make the ornaments at the beginning of November! At first, I was trying to set up an ornament swap--that didn't work. Then I came up with an idea to put little pictures of the symbols into brooch settings.  I ordered the settings from a dealer on Etsy about four weeks ago and they haven't arrived yet.  I guess the Jesse Tree just wasn't meant to be this year.

One new thing we are doing this Advent is waiting to put the ornaments on the Christmas tree until Christmas day.  We've always put them on right away along with all the other decorations in the house, but I wanted to save something for Christmas day to make it more special.   I didn't anticipate how hard this would be for my son. He asks almost everyday when we can put the ornaments on the tree.  I keep telling him, "When Jesus comes on Christmas."

These are the major things we do for Advent. Other little things like Christmas books, a Christmas felt board, and Christmas crafts also enhance our Advent season.


Elisa said...

Aw! I think that is really cool about the ornaments. Our tree isn't up yet. We haven't quite figured out our tradition on when to put up the tree. When I was little it didn't go up until Christmas Eve. I think we may do a third Sunday of Advent thing, and saving the decorations until Christmas Eve sounds really great.

Ok, so my kids aren't the only ones jumping on the couch during family prayer. It's my pet peeve (the jumping) but maybe I just have to get over it. I can never enforce it enough for them to quit. Anyways...such a cute story about the St. Andrew chaplet...we have been praying it after the kids go to bed, and I have been forgetting if it weren't for my husband reminding me. =)

Christina said...

Hahaha Sarah, that is so funny what Liam did, because I can definitely see him doing something like that, he's such a good memorizer!

Laura said...

great ideas! I don't know if I could wait to put up the ornaments either! I love that all the ornaments (or most of them) have special meaning and I really enjoy just sitting and looking at them. I bet on Christmas that it will be so nice to put them up and I hope you enjoy it as a family!

Lori said...

I have been meanig to thank you for the St. Andrew novena chaplet. It is truly stunning! So, Thank You! :)

Advent with littles is always full of couch bouncing, but it amazing that they really are soaking it in.

Mandy said...

aw, good ideas! Hope you have a wonderful Advent!

Mary from Graceful Rosaries said...

My problem every year, is FINDING the advent stuff! It usually gets packed up with Christmas...and the Christmas boxes aren't unpacked until the last week of Advent. I thought I kept Advent separate last year....But I still can't find it!!!

Sarah, when those ornaments come in, let me know. We need to get together and get them made...even though it may be after Christmas. After all the baby will be very active next year at this time.