Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent Plans

This is the shortest Advent I recall, but like most people I love this time of year and plan to make the most of it! Some of the things we're planning on doing have become family traditions, others will be new ones. The church is so full of rich traditions that help us experience the joy of Advent and Christmas and we're glad to take part in them while keeping our focus on the true meaning of Christmas! Here are some of the things we have been and will be doing as a family this season. I do believe I'll continue to update this post with pictures of our Advent goings-on to revisit when I'm planning next year.

December 2 - The first Sunday of Advent
Pull out all the nativity scenes
Put new purple and pink candles in the advent wreath and bless them as a family
Read the Christmas story from Luke - repeat throughout Advent
Set out the new Advent calendar

Every day of Advent
Light the appropriate candles before dinner
Sing one verse of O Come O Come Emmanuel. We make it through all 7 "O Antiphons" each week
Open the appropriate door of the advent calendar to reveal the picture and verse
Read from Isiah - I'm doing this independently in quiet time. It's about 16 chapters a week

December 6 - the Feast of St. Nicholas
the night before, set the table and pray, inviting St. Nicholas into our home
Open stockings
have a feast for breakfast!
Drop off "giving tree" gift at church. Talk about St. Nicholas's example of generosity
Wassailfest just so happens to be tonight wtih carolling at church beforehand, great way to continue the feast
Read the St. Nicholas: the Real Story of the Christmas Legend

The Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto at church
"I am the Immaculate Conception"

December 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception 
Holy Day of Obligation - go to Mass
Inspired by Mary's purity have an all white dinner
Take a bag of baby items by the crisis pregnancy center to bless a pregnant mom
Read Mary

December 12 - The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Act out the appearance of Our Lady to Juan Diego, probably with Little People
Color pictures of Mary
Mexican food for dinner
Read The Lady of Guadalupe
Our little shrine to our Lady of Guadalupe

Santa's Ranch drive through lights tour for the feast of St. Lucy

December 13 - Feast of St. Lucy
Since we don't have any daughters of breakfast making age, we're going to focus on the "light" component of St. Lucy by going to Santa's Ranch to see all the Christmas lights.
Put some lights up at our house if there's time, finish over the weekend

December 16 - Gaudete Sunday
Light the Pink candle
Decorate the house for Christmas
Put up the Christmas Tree
bake Christmas cookies

December - 17
Start praying the O Antiphons before bed

December 23
Grammy and Gramps come to town for Christmas

now we're getting into Christmas, but might as well put the plans out there
December 24
We'll be in Austin with Nanny and Grandude in the morning for breakfast and presents

December 25 - Christ our Savior is born!
Breakfast at home
Christmas Mass
Presents at our house
heading to Granny's house in San Antonio in the afternoon

December 27 
heading to the Valley

Not yet scheduled activities to get done during advent:
Receive the sacrament of Penance
Have hot chocolate and a fire in the fireplace
Make ornaments for grandparent gifts
Read tons and tons of Christmas books!
make a pine cone bird feeder to hand in the neighborhood park
Deliver neighbor gifts. Probably these simmer pot packets.
Pray the joyful mysteries of the Rosary
Watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (after Will is in bed)

in the next couple years we'd like to add in:
the Jesse Tree. We did it before Will was born, and wanted to wait a bit before bringing it back
lining Jesus's crib with good deed straws. We have to get (make?) a Nativity scene in which Jesus isn't permanently affixed to his crib first.
Unwrapping a Christmas book each day. Our collection is growing but most of what we're reading this year comes from the library.



veronica said...

Great post, there are lots of ideas here that I am adding to my list!

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that whole "kids bringing breakfast in bed" seemed a little fishy. I don't buy it in reality. :)