Saturday, December 8, 2012

Our Easy Advent Plans for 2012

Each year I get together with the children and we decide what we will do for our Advent and which resources we will use.

More often as not we make wonderful plans, using other resources we have bought or plans found free on the internet, and then usually have some if not many other unscheduled plans, illness, or other activities happen that means we do not finish our elaborate plans, and making us feel we have not had a productive Advent and missed the whole purpose of the preparation time before Christmas.

This year we knew being in a new home and area we would not want to over commit to activities at home, but I would strive to keep our plans simple and workable.

So we sat down with paper and pen at breakfast last week and wrote a list of what we would like to do.
This covered the major feast days that are non-negotiable in our eyes (we just love them so much) and then worked out what else we would add to the mix to have a meaningful Advent that would not cause us too much stress and make us feel harried and then not do everything we put on our list.
 We then, or rather Eden did, made up our own Advent calender and with the help of Vellvin started to fill in the squares with day to day activities from our list.

So what did we put on our essentials list int he first photo? I am glad you asked!
These are the activities and ideas we have said are essential to  our Advent this year~

* Feast Days-
Stir up Sunday
St Nicholas
St Lucia
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Mid Summer Eve
Christmas Eve and the Midnight Feast

* Christkindl for everyone (more on this to come)

* On Gaudete Sunday (third Sunday in Advent   to have a cake and rose coloured drink as this is the anniversary of our being  welcomed into the Catholic Church 6 years ago.

* Pray our Novenas for this time of year

It really is a two step programme this year:
1. To read aloud from the baskets of books we filled earlier (each child choose their five favourite picture books) and then create a little booklet with drawn pictures form the books and a list of the books read.
2. Make a craft from one of the books read each day.

Other read alouds include~
Bartholomew's Passage
Destination Bethlehem
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - this is a favourite that has to be read every year with our children
Christmas with Anne

* The older children will be reading form our selection of  Chapter books for themselves as well.

* We will be practicing Christmas Carols together in readiness for  Christmas Mass

* Present a nativity play or movie for Mum and Dad's viewing

* Our little children will be making gifts to give to other members of the family and will need a little help with this. Our older children have been working on this for some months now and are nearly completed.

* Make a bird Christmas  for the birds

* Candles in the windows

* Do our Countdowns, we have a few and I hope to document them here too

* Decorating the house. We have started and will be making apple, orange and star garlands to finish with as well as putting up the Christmas Tree.

* Find Patron saints for next year

* Go looking at the Christmas lights around town

* New for us this year: we will be attending the Cecilian Choir concert and the "Travel through Bethlehem" which are both attractions in town .

* We do have some movies we watch each year, although not all of them
Santa Clause
Christmas Carol- both the new one and an older version
Nutcracker Ballet on You tube
Little Women
Miracle on 34th Street - again we like both the new and old version
It's a Wonderful Life
Jingle all the Way
A Princess for Christmas
The Candy Cane
An Avonlea Christmas
Gremlins (not my choice)
Chipmunks (again not my choice)

* Music choices are:
The Child of the Promise
The Nutcrakcer
Handel's Messiah
Various Cd's we have gathered over the years.
We try to have a mostly Christmas and the few Advent themed carols, hymns and songs playing during this time of Advent

 These are the items we are hoping to sew this year:
Elf Hats (well we did buy some for St Nicholas day)
Vest for the boys in Christmas print
Skirts for most of the girls in Christmas print, or a wide leg pant for those who prefer
Maybe some shorts for the little boys in Christmas print

 Essential is a Gingerbread house, Christmas puddings, and Christmas cakes

Various cookies:
sugar cookies
specualaas (both for St Nicholas and for Christmas)
coffee balls
yo yo's
custard creams
shrewberry cookies
white Christmas

Egg nogg
Mulled cider
Christmas Ice cream

* Of course Christmas gift shopping and

So there is our bare bones Advent plans.
This year we will not follow extravagant plans and do those activities we often feel 'obliged' to do because that is what you are supposed to do or everyone does those at during Advent.

We will be relaxing reading, crafting and counting down the days until the birth of our Saviour and loving the peace and joy that come with this period of preparations.

Blessings to you and your homes,

1 comment:

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