Advent and Christmas traditions

A few weeks ago at my mom’s group meeting at our church, we discussed the advent and Christmas traditions in our families. Many of the moms have children older than Greta, so they have more established traditions. We don’t really have many traditions, especially for Christmas because we are always traveling, and our families celebrate the holidays quite differently. Many of the moms shared some good ideas and so I want to write them down so that maybe next year we can start some.

1. Most people have advent calendars and wreaths. We don’t have a special calendar, but I have found one that I like, but haven’t bought it yet. We also don’t have a wreath even though I have wanted one for years because we have a cat that likes to eat candles. Anyone know of an electric advent wreath?

2. A couple of people slowly prepare for Christmas throughout the advent season by putting the tree up one week, the lights on the tree the next, then ornaments and finally the angel/star on top on Christmas Eve.

3. One mom says that they write a giving list rather than a wishlist. This helps the kids focus more on what they are giving to others rather than on “I want, I want, I want.”

4. One of my favorite ideas was that first thing on Christmas morning, the family reads the Christmas story from the Bible. After that they do breakfast and gifts. Some families also get up and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

5. Many people celebrate St. Nick’s day. Matt’s family has always done this and I hope we can make a bigger deal out of it in the future.

What kind of Advent or Christmas traditions do you have?

2 thoughts on “Advent and Christmas traditions

  • December 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm
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    Love the new site! I feel like I’ve been out of it for weeks….we’ve all been sick:( Now I’m finally coming back. Anyways:

    1) Greta is beautiful!! Love all the pics.
    2) Advent/Christmas traditions–> We set up our little artificial tree at the beginning of Advent and add our Advent Prayer Chain. I make purple and pink slips of paper containing prayer intentions, acts of kindness, small sacrifices that we pull each day to do. Then, they are stapled together and make a prayer chain around the tree. We decorate the tree with Christmas lights and ornaments the last week of Advent. We’ve done this every year and look forward to Mags participating.
    3) I also put out our Nativity scenes.
    4) In the future, we’ll celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas and other feast days leading up to Christmas.
    5) One of my favorite mamas who shares her resources is Jessica. Such great ideas to do with kiddos!

  • January 3, 2009 at 8:07 pm
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    I know I’m late, but some of our holiday traditions are:

    1. Advent wreath. (no candle-eaters here – I put mine in a bowl full of oranges)
    2. Putting up the Christmas tree mid-Advent and leaving it up until Epiphany (Jan 6 – the twelfth day of Christmas)
    3. Our nativity set has a baby Jesus figurine that is removable – whoever sets it up hides baby Jesus until Christmas morning. Also, the three wise men figurines must slowly, daily make their way around the house until they finally reach the creche.
    4. Christmas books and Christmas stories.
    5. A multi-course fish dinner Christmas eve (an Italian tradition)
    6. I remember in elementary school making a Jesse tree – I’d like to do this when we have kids.
    7. One of my favorite new traditions is the Little Blue Book from the Diocese of Saginaw – incorporating daily prayer is something I really like. (http://littlebooks.org)

    One tradition my parents tried to start when my sisters and I were little that backfired like crazy was listening to the opening song of “Godspell” at full blast. We were not keen on the rock opera/life of Jesus fad.

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