Did you know that Advent begins next Sunday? This is my favorite season in the Church's calendar; the time to reflect on the history of God's people, prepare with joy for His coming at Bethlehem, and look forward to when He will come again. There are many books, activities and prayers available not only for children but for adults looking to celebrate, learn, pray and enjoy this wonderful time.
I recently found a post by Karen Edminsten, The No-Panic Advent Series. In it she has combined all her posts about advent, making it a one-stop-shop, so to speak, of all her ideas for making this season special. She covers so many great topics; The Jesus Stocking, December Feast Days, The Jesse Tree, balancing secularity with Christian heritage, simple traditions (advent wreaths and calendars, prayers and books), Santa, last minute checklists, and the Twelve Days. It's a very long post but is simply a gold mine of tips, links and ideas.
I have posted before about wanting to start some traditions for this time with my family. The Jesse Tree is top on my list but I have come across so many more wonderful ideas, it's almost a little overwhelming. Taking the advice of more seasoned mothers though, I have started a folder compiling ideas, activities, and websites full of prayers and meditations. There is no way I can do everything in one year, nor should I try, and this will allow me to hold on to these ideas for future years. We'll try more ideas as the years go on and hold on to those that are most meaningful for our family.
As time is in short supply this year I think the only new addition to our calendar will be the celebration of St Nicholas Day. We will make and hang stockings on the 5th (St Nicholas Day Eve) and read his story. The next day they will find a few fun trinkets, fruit or candy in them. We'll read some more, bake some Speculaas cookies, say some prayers and enjoy a special dinner.
What special traditions do you have for this season?