Getting Ready for Advent

Advent Wreath 2011

Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas. Therefore, this Sunday will be the First Sunday of Advent. This liturgical season is more than "just a countdown to Christmas". During these four weeks, we prepare our hearts and minds for the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ as well as for the second coming. Advent is particularly exciting because it is the beginning of the church year. It is a nice fresh start!

What are you going to do to celebrate Advent?

As a family, we purchased a child friendly Advent wreath which will enable our little one to participate without mom worrying he will burn himself on the real candles. This year we will be away for the first Sunday of Advent so, we will take our wreath with us and celebrate with Charlie's grandparents. Because the wreath is new, it would be nice to have a little blessing ceremony as a family. The USCCB  has a bunch of great resources for Advent.

I can't wait to play O Come, O Come Emmanuel for Charlie during the week. He loves music and it would be wonderful for him to begin to associate this song with Advent. In Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, there is a listing of the appropriate "O" verses for the days leading up to Christmas but you can also find it on the web.

During the last week of Advent, I plan to set up my nativity from my classroom so we can talk about why we are celebrating Christmas. My mother bought Charlie a wonderful book called, "What is Christmas?" It talks about how despite all of the secular Christmas preparations, the true meaning of Christmas is found in remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

As Charlie gets older, I think it would be fun to celebrate St. Nicholas Day and the Epiphany in conjunction with Christmas. As a kid, I remember the neighbors celebrating St. Nicholas Day. I thought it was a neat idea. As an adult, I have gone to Epiphany service with some of my Lutheran coworkers because I found that they celebrated it more so than the Catholic church did.

This will be a great year to begin some new traditions! What are your Advent traditions?


  1. Ah! I love advent too! I ordered some candles online and don't know if they will be here in time for this Sunday. Last year we celebrated St. Nicholas Day with my daughter. I went to Catholic school growing up and we always used to celebrate it during class. I loved the tradition and want to continue it in my family. We may add the Jesse tree this year too. I just love all the holiday traditions. Thanks for the recommendation of the Christmas book. I have been searching for the perfect book to say just that!

  2. You have some wonderful traditions planned for your little one! Have a blessed and fruitful Advent season. =)