Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Week of Advent

Sophie Wei and Simone above.

Tonight we started our first Advent - Christmas tradition. My friend Andrea suggested the idea to me and I love it!! My goal is to keep it simple, fun and educational for everyone in our family. So far so good.

I found the candles above at our local craft store and the "circle wreath" holder at the local Catholic Store. I am going to add evergreens as soon as they arrive....I am going to clip some off of the wreath that I ordered for our front door.

The girls were excited to light the candles so we added a candle lighter job and a candle extinguisher job, yes we did it twice because it was so excited.

Sophie below.

During dinner I talked about the meaning of Anticipation along with the anticipation of Christmas. I also talked about the following meanings:
Our circle (wreath holder) = God is eternal, no beginning - no end.
Purple Candles = a time to prepare.
Pink Candle = the joy of Christmas is near.
White Candle = Christ Candle.
Evergreens = everlasting life, new life.
Why Candles?: Jesus is the light of the world.
Advent - Prepare our hearts with Hope, Joy, Love and Peace as we eagerly look forward to Christmas.
Opening Prayer = "Dearest Lord, thank you for the beauty and joy of this first Family Night in Advent. Bless us as we gather together in your name, O Lord, to share, to grow and to love. Help us to make this Advent a time to prepare more than we ever have before for the coming of "Emmanuel." Amen." (from the book Family Nights for Advent and Christmas by Terry and Mimi Reilly. If you click on this link, I found a link for it on Amazon. I found this at our local Catholic Store.) Since the girls were so sleepy by the end of dinner I skipped this opening prayer and went right to the closing prayer but we will do it next time.
Scriptures = The book I purchased gives examples of good scriptures to read together which we might add later.
Entertainment = Play a game of charades with family members acting out special Christmas Characters. (from this book.)
Sharing = (from the same book) We did not do tonight.
1. When did you feel especially joyful during the past week.
2. When someone felt close to God.
3. When someone felt loved by another family member.
Closing Prayer:
Gentle Lord, thank you for this evening together and for your presence in our midst. Bless each of us this coming week, Lord, and help us to reach out in kindness to all we meet. (from this book.)
Depending on how things go in the next week I will go into more details about the candles. For now they get the white Christ candle I think because it is the biggest and that makes sense to them.
Candle of Hope - It symbolizes faith in God keeping his promises to humanity.
Candle of Preparation - Love - reminding Christians to get ready to receive God.
Candle of Joy - it recalls the angels joyfully singing about the birth of Christ.
Candle of Love - reminds Christians that God loves them enough to sen his only Son to Earth.
Christ Candle - stands for Jesus Christ.
These are just some ideas I gathered from my new book Family Nights for Advent and Christmas by Terry and Mimi Reilly, some from the Internet and some of my own. Really you can add or change based on what parts of the story you would like to explore/learn about.
If you are interested in reading more about this book you can find it here.
As you can see we did not do every thing in one night. We will see how the week goes and what nights we can add some of the other fun ideas. I might change things up or add more as I learn or change what works best for our family.


Andrea said...

I love it! Can't wait to compare notes with you!

Aaron and Marcella said...

Just saying HI! You'll have to let me know how this goes...sounds fun. :)

China Dreams said...

I can't really read your post, but love your advent wreath-mine is ordinary silver.

China Dreams said...

Okay, now I can read it; it was coming through as white print on a pale yellow background. I'm sure that the girls will look forward to this every year.

The Hernandez Herd said...

Oh, I love this idea. Maybe we will do this next year.