So what is Advent and what does it mean to your family? Advent comes from the Latin word meaning “coming”. Advent is a season of preparation for Jesus’ arrival. The purple color associated with Advent is the color of penance. Rose, the color of the Third Sunday, symbolizes joy and represents the happiness we will experience when Jesus comes again. So how do our children and we celebrate this season:
A season of preparation, penance, joy, and anticipation. If you are like me you may get anxious, a little crazed, stressed out …shopping for the perfect gift, going to a million cookie swaps, decorating the home. BUT how can we truly prepare our own hearts and our families? How can we help our families prepare for Jesus’ arrival and also celebrate the true meaning of Christmas? Here are a few fun family suggestions to help prepare and celebrate:
- Read the Story of Jesus’ Birth from a Children’s Bible and then have your children create a Christmas Story picture book. …Drawing and coloring their own pictures.
- Create an Advent Kindness Chain: Make a paper chain out of purple, rose and white construction paper and on each link write an activity that the children can do to prepare or spread kindness (examples…. make their siblings bed; help a parent with a chore; bake cookies and bring to a neighbor; bring pet treats to a pet shelter; reach out to a shy boy or girl in class and start a conversation….)
- Make your own Advent wreath and say a family prayer each week as you light the candle.
Week 1: Christ Our Light, Shine in our lives with hope and promise; Give us the right vision so we can remain attentive this holy season; Remind us to look for you in small acts of kindness and love. We await your coming with wonder. Amen
Week 2: Christ our Hope, Fill our hearts with grace. Help us to give to others. Help us recognize our kinship with all the people of the world. Amen
Week 3: Christ Our Joy, Brighten our homes with your presence. Help us see you. Make every holiday activity an opportunity to spread your light and love. We await your coming with delight. Amen
Week 4: Christ our Peace, Glow brightly in each moment and help us see beyond the trappings of the holidays. Relieve us of our worries and our stress. We await your coming with peace and joy. Amen
- Attend confession as a family. This is a great way to prepare for the coming of Jesus.
- Putting Jesus in the crèche: Set out a Nativity Set. But wait to put Baby Jesus in the manger. On Christmas Eve, hide Baby Jesus in the house. Before you go to bed, have the children search for him and find him in your house (kind of like an Easter Egg Hunt). Have the children place Baby Jesus in the manger and discuss how Jesus is right there waiting for us to reach out and find him…He is always there for us.
- I have attached the church advent calendar of activities on the back. Please consider attending one of these parish events.
I wish you a beautiful and blessed holiday season…one of joy and love. Just a reminder there is Faith Formation class on December 11 at MES BUT NO CLASS ON DEC 18th