J.A. asks from Bronx, NY on October 10, 2009
I am interested to start a new religous tradition I would like to try for the first time. It is called advent. No one I know lights up advent candles and gets together on sundays for the month of December (from what I've been reading in some websites). Can anyone share with me what they do with their families for advent so I can try it with my family. Also let me know if you recommend any books on advent and things I can do with my family during that time. Thank you.
1 mom found this helpful
E.M. answers from New York on October 11, 2009
advent is a real thing? I thought it was just a way to sell calendars with chocolate inside.
P.I. answers from New York on October 11, 2009
It is a European tradition I think. I am from Germany and it is celebrated every year. Yo have a decorated wreath with four candles on it. You light one candle the fourth Sunday before Christmas then two candles the third week before and so on until all four candles are lit.
There is also the advent calender as someone mentioned about and the Celebration with St. Nick.
B.A. answers from New York on October 11, 2009
Advent can be a fun time. You can easily make an advent wreath. When we were kids, we used to get some pine boughs, real or not, and wrap them into a circle. You'll need 3 pink, 1 purple, and 1 white candle. You'll light 1 candle the first week, two the second, and so on until on Christmas you light them all. (Pink first then purple then white) You can buy advent calendars, counting down the days until Christmas almost everywhere now. I've even seen them in the grocery stores. (My mother even let us have the advent calendars with chocolate in them when we got older!) What we used to do is light the candles and tell a different bible story each week. That way your children can follow Mary and Joseph and the Wise Men, etc, all the way up to Christmas. If you want to do a devotion with that, you can, but even just making children familiar with some bible stories that they'll remember throughout their life is a great thing. Just have fun with it.
J.G. answers from New York on October 11, 2009
Get or make an Advent Calendar. It is a "countdown" to Christmas Day. I buy one at a local religious (Catholic) store. Each day you open a window and it has a picture or line from the Bible. Great way for kids to learn about Christmas. You can also make an advent wreath-- just google it. You'll find lots of websites with directions/advice. You can use it as a centerpiece on your dining table. Every Sunday, light a candle and the family can say a prayer. Also, my friends who are of Dutch descent celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas. It is December 6. You can read the story of the REAL "Santa" Claus. I did this last year with my daughter. She loved it and now understands who St Nick really is and why his life sets a good example for everyone. Also, I like to emphasize the "12 days" of Christmas. We keep the tree decorations up until January 6th (Epiphany). We recognize the 3 kings/wise men. I give my kids a small token/gift on this day. Jan.6th is a huge holiday in Puerto Rico and other parts of the Carribean. Also in many European countries.
Santa Claus does come to my house on Christmas morning and we do have fun with decorating etc, but I really try to emphasize what the holiday really is. I try and play alot of traditional/church Christmas music in the house/car. I get a lot of CDs from my library. Again there are some really good websites, just google around--American Catholic.org, Catholic Mom and many other christian ones....