I’m a little tardy in getting this posted, but better late than never!
Each year around Thanksgiving, I tend to sit down and figure out how our family traditions will line up with the year’s Advent. Sometimes Advent is l-o-n-g, and other years such as this one, it’s incredibly short. I try to have a list made up so I can have something to reference to since things get crazy around here.
Our Advent is as follows:
First Sunday of Advent (December 3rd)
Christmas tree is put up and stockings are hung. Nativities are set out, minus the Baby Jesus.
Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6th)
St. Nicholas comes and leaves gifts in the stockings and a reminder to prepare their hearts for the Christ Child. This year, he brought the kids the following (all affiliate links):
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8th)
Another day off from school, and we have our traditional “white meal” in honor of Our Lady’s purity. Chicken alfredo with pasta and rice, corn (ok, not white but still tasty), and Martinelli’s if I remember to pick it up in time. And of course, we get to Mass.
Second Sunday of Advent (December 10th)
More decorations go up around the house.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12th)
We have a bunch of books to read about Our Lady of Guadalupe and we have a Mexican themed dinner to celebrate (complete with Mexican hot chocolate – yum!).
Feast of St. Lucy (December 13th)
The lights go up on the house! I string the lights on the tree when we put it up, but we don’t plug in the tree until today. After dinner we all load up and listen to Christmas carols and check out light displays around town.
Third Sunday of Advent (December 17th)
We decorate the tree and put up any remaining Christmas decorations. If I’m going to bake Christmas cookies, I try and do it this day or on the last Sunday of Advent. The O Antiphons also begin.
Peanut’s Baptismal Anniversary (December 22nd)
Peanut picks out dinner and we all renew our Baptismal promises. Christmas dinner is planned and purchased by this point as well.
Fourth Sunday of Advent (December 24th)
This year, since it’s Christmas Eve; everything should be done by this date.
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In addition to above, we have a couple Christmas parties to attend, Confession, Mass, and Advent candles. This year, I added in Advent to Epiphany “Morning Time” plans. The kids really enjoy it, and it provides a different way to start the mornings.
I try to have a good mix of Advent activities and things to look forward to as opposed to throwing it all up on Black Friday and being over it on the 26th. We leave everything up until January 8th, the Baptism of the Lord. I also did my best to incorporate traditions from when I was a kid, from when Greg was a kid, and new traditions for our kids. 🙂
Blessed Advent, everyone!