Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Loveliness of Advent



Jenn will be hosting the next Loveliness Fair ~ The Loveliness of Advent. The Fair will be ready for visitors on November 29 .

This week, we finalized some of our Advent preparations.

You may recall, that at the start of this "school" term, in October, we planned some ideas for the term. These plans included an internet search for more Advent ideas.

I pulled some of the ideas together during the week.

On Thursday, we made an Advent wreath, stealing the ideas from the blog O Night Divine.

Our other Advent wreath was made ten years ago - and the current four children homeschooling were nearly 1, 3, 5, and 7 then. So, it was a craft mostly compiled by the then older three homeschoolers ( now homeschool graduates).

I thought a new Advent wreath was overdue.

We adapted the idea from the blog above and spray painted our wreath, adding greenery and fake poinsettia and small pine cone shaped tea candles.

Here is a simple Advent Wreath paper craft to try.

Our Advent preparations this week also included our Advent calendar. We have two.

Each year, we purchase a Cadbury Co. chocolate Advent calender - very commercial of us, I know, but it is something we've done since our oldest son was a preschooler. He is now in his 20s! We all look forward to the calendar and the chocolate. You can see the Cadbury calendar above.

Then, we also usually make some sort of Advent calendar. Or calendar of Advent ideas.

This year, we are using a cloth calendar that I bought on sale from a Christmas shop at the close of the last Christmas season . Similar to the one in the picture.

Thomas typed and printed a list of activities, which we cut and folded and placed in the appropriate pockets. I added a few sweets to the pockets, here and there.

This is Thomas' list ~

6th Feast of Saint Nicholas make Christmas cookies


13th Feast of Saint Lucy make Saint Lucy’s crown

4th feast of Saint Barbara check the weather

16th Begin Xmas Novena


Make and mail Christmas cards

Do something nice for another family member today

Sing Christmas carols

Sing Christmas carols

Sing Christmas carols

2,3,9,10 cat Christmas photos

Christmas photo

Put up Christmas tree

8th Immaculate conception

Walk or drive to see the Christmas lights

Visit Christmas In the city

Christmas Advent crafts

Christmas Advent crafts

Christmas Advent crafts

Christmas Advent crafts

Read Christmas books

Listen to Christmas music

Read Christmas story from the bible

Make Christmas cake

Do Christmas shopping

Make Christmas food

3rd first Sunday of advent

10th second Sunday in advent

17th third Sunday in advent

24th fourth Sunday in advent

Other years, we have made Advent coloured paper chains and simple home made Advent calendars.

So, what do we plan to do during Advent?

~ Everyone is choosing a spiritual/theological book to read during Advent. The kids typically choose a biography of a saint. I used to read aloud these books to the little ones.
~We will choose our "Advent penances."
~ Each week, we will click on one of the dates of that week on this online Advent activity calendar. We will follow the suggestions for reading, Bible readings, activities and even Christmas movies! It would be awesome to do this daily, but impractical given our schedules. A weekly Advent morning suits us fine.
~We will re-assemble our basket and box of Christmas and Advent books and movies. We have been judiciously collecting these over the years.
~I have already strewed an old Abeka literature text, one with a section of Christmas stories - including Dicken's "A Christmas Carol."
~We were thinking of making cards this year (didn't last year, either) - but got a good deal on religious cards at the piety stall at church. Who can resist?
~ We are planning our Christmas shopping lists - thinking ahead of how to share the joy via gifts and food.
~ We might try our hand at these Christmas tree ornaments from recycled Christmas cards. We might give the holiday biscotti recipe a whirl. It all depends on the time factor.
~ And we are making a gingerbread house - with a kit! Sorry, but this seems so much more positive and likely to succeed than making everything from scratch. Last year, we made mock gingerbread houses, with milk coffee biscuits - see these directions. The directions call for graham crackers. I have no idea what graham crackers are - as I said, we used Aussie/English milk coffee biscuits.
~ I have invited a few other Catholic homeschoolers over during Advent. We will pray the Rosary and Father will give us an Advent Blessing. We plan to follow this with morning tea/lunch.
~ During Advent, we will be finishing off our term activity - homemade books - Alexander is completing his mini book of three essays, Thomas is almost done with writing his cookbook and Anthony has a chapter to go on his world history of an imaginary land. Jonathon will start and complete a small book of some of his artwork or writing from this year.
~ Oh, and some of us will be attending the Advent programme at our parish - starts this Wednesday.

Here's wishing all a Happy and Busy Advent!

"It might be easy to run away to a monastery, away from the commercialization, the hectic hustle, the demanding family responsibilities of Christmas-time. Then we would have a holy Christmas. But we would forget the lesson of the Incarnation, of the enfleshing of God—the lesson that we who are followers of Jesus do not run from the secular; rather we try to transform it. It is our mission to make holy the secular aspects of Christmas just as the early Christians baptized the Christmas tree. And we do this by being holy people—kind, patient, generous, loving, laughing people—no matter how maddening is the Christmas rush…" Fr. Andrew Greeley

9 comments:

Rebecca said...

Your Advent plans sound really nice, Leonie. I love the quote you posted. It is a good reminder!

beate said...

great list! it had never occured to me to put little notes into the pockets (or mini sacks as is the case in our calendar) - well, gee!!!

Anonymous said...

I like your list of activities, Leonie!

It will help me get my head on as I feel rushed already!

Happy Advent to you and your beautiful family!

Leonie said...

Our plans are not too elaborate, I know - but, still, Advent and Christmas are my favourite times of year. Thanks for your comment. :-)

Jennifer said...

Great plans, Leonie! Marianna and I had a great time last year with that on-line Advent Calendar, we ended up dropping all other schooling and just delving deep with it, such a joy! It will definitely be part of our plans this year too.

Alice said...

Happy Advent to you and your family, Leonie!

Cay in La. said...

Great to see you plans, Leonie.
That quote at the end is fantastic...so rich.

Anonymous said...

Leonie,

I loved the peek at your plans and the final quote was just what I needed - just what we all need as we head into the holy season. Perfect.

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