Advent: Traditions


I started yesterday by jotting down a few thoughts on Advent.

Jesse Tree

Reading: I’ll be reading the book The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean with the kids. We tried this last year, but the kids had no listening skills for even short chapter books. Since we’ve been reading chapter books for most of this year now, I think they’ll be fine with listening to three short pages.
Ornaments: I have ornaments already. My mom gave me a bag of green felt ornaments, I wish I knew what company made them so I could pass the info along, but there’s nothing on the bag… Anyways, I’ve gone through them and they almost perfectly match the readings in the book. I will probably have to substitute one or two, but other than that, they should work! {Last year I decided I would just find a picture online, print it out and have them color it every day…. But I have since become wiser and realized that trying to find pictures online while the kids are jumping off the walls, then trying to print it and do laps up and down two flights of stairs because the printer jammed, just doesn’t work. Especially if you try to do it “day of” during breakfast. I’d advise if you DO go the “print your own” route that you do it in advance, a week before at least, unless you enjoy the time-stress of my previous method, in that case, more power to ya!}
The Tree: Last year I cut out two green Christmas Tree shapes out of poster board and taped them to the fridge {for the paper ornaments… }. This year, we’re going to be using our little fiber-optic tree for the ornaments. It’s maybe a little bright and flashy for the somber season of preparation, but…. it’s what we have so it’s what we’ll be using for now.

Advent Wreath

This year I ordered the Make Your Own Advent Candles from Toadily Handmade which I think the kids will be well able to participate in. I plan to make them right after Thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to having “Liturgically Correct” candle colors, as I’ve not been able to find them locally. {Random thought: I bet if I had checked at the Catholic Bookstore I could have found some…..} Anyways, my kids love doing crafts; I don’t mind, so long as there’s minimal planning on my part… which these candles seem to be 🙂

Along with lighting the Wreath, we’ll be using again the devotional that my mother in law puts together. I haven’t seen it yet, so I don’t know what is there exactly, but it usually includes a short scripture reading. Since we usually light the candles at dinner, this is actually about as long as the kids or I have attention spans for.

I did find a couple of short prayers and meditations that we may or may not use. They’re here and here.

Advent Calenders

We’ve a couple of Advent Calendars left from the past few years. Each year the kids receive a new one from my mother in law, but last year they found the old ones before in the box and wanted to use them too, so we used all of them. It went over so well, that we’ll probably do the same this year too. 🙂

Advent Chain

I suppose this could be like a Christmas Countdown chain, since my kiddos have a hard time with the concept of time. But we will be doing it with liturgical colors (purple and pink), purple for the first two weeks, pink for the third week, and purple until Christmas. Every day we’ll pull off another link in the chain, alternating turns of course!

Jesus Stocking {New this year}

In my blog wanderings I’ve heard of a Jesus Stocking. There are several different ways to approach this, but I think how we’ll do it this year is to use the Links from the Advent Chain and write down things we’re thankful for (like we’re doing now with our Thanksgiving Chain) and place them in the Stocking.

{Now, I just need to get the stocking…}

Nativity Scene {Also new this year}

We recently acquired a rather large scale Nativity Scene. So preparations for a place to set it up will begin shortly.

I would love to do a Mary and Joseph journey (where we’d move Mary and Joseph around the house, each day a little closer). And I’d also like to do something similar for the Wise Men between Christmas and Epiphany. Logistically I am still working out how that will happen because of a certain almost 2-year-old who believes anything can be climbed on and the rest of the things can be thrown…! I think it would be a good visual for the kids though to see it as a journey, so maybe…

A few final thoughts…

We’d like to keep the Christmas music to a minimum and focus instead on listening to “Advent” music. Will require a bit of searching on our part, but we’re working on it. {Hard! because I LOVE Christmas music}

I’m not much into watching TV shows and programs, so that’s not as big of a challenge, but we’ll try to keep it minimal, and indulge during the Christmas Season.

All these things are subject to not getting done or completed. Life happens, a lot around here it seems, and things just don’t always go as planned. So we’ll do our best, and not worry if it doesn’t happen.


Since it’s getting late, and I don’t want to clog everyone’s feeds and emails, I’m attaching today’s 365 photo {day #19}


This is my children’s new favorite movie. They almost watch it every day. At least I don’t mind it too much 😉

Good night everyone!

~Ruth Anne

One thought on “Advent: Traditions

  1. You’ve got a lot of ideas! You could save the Mary and Joseph journey until next year when Karl is almost three, instead of almost two. How will you even keep him from hiding and losing the figures????


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