Advent

Yes, I know I'm a few days late on this. (Advent begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving)

I could blame it on the 60 degree weather….. (I fear I will never adjust to winter in the south)

or perhaps it is the fact that I refuse to get Christmas decor out of the attic until after Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten….. 

Procrastination, I know! It runs in the family, by the way, which I am finding out with a teenage-homework-due-the-next-day-stay-up-until-11pm finishing it son…. wow, de ja vue….

So, back to Advent.

Last year I made an Advent/Christmas countdown calendar for our family. We use this in conjunction with our Advent celebrations. I fill the pockets with a few handmade ornaments, treats, Christmas poems, holiday decor and some family activities to share. {For an amazing list of inexpensive and free things, visit Uncommon Grace's Advent list. Wow!} We have a beautiful German candle pyramid that we use as our "wreath". This year we are incorporating some Waldorf things into our festivals. 

Each evening before our meal, we will light a candle and recite the week's verse. One candle in week one, two in week two, and so on. We light each new week with the first candle in hopes to instill the everything is connected idea with our children. Each Sunday is the beginning of the new week and we clear the nature table of anything from the previous week's focus. I found these verses while surfing the internet, and thought you may enjoy them. 

 

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Week One

The first light of Advent,

is the light of the stones.

Stones that live in crystals,

seashells and bones.

{on your nature table, each family member may place a special stone, crystal or bone. we'll be talking about how everything comes from, and returns to, our earth}

 

Week Two

The second light of Advent,

is the light of the plants.

Roots, stem, leaf, flower,

that in the breezes dance.

{on your nature table, each family member can place a special seed pod, leaf or flower. I think a forced bulb would be especially lovely in colder climates where the outdoors are gray and covered in snow}

 

Three

The third light of Advent,

is the light of the beasts.

The light of hope that we may see,

in greatest and the least.

{each family member can choose a small wooden animal to spend the week on the nature table, I find this verse a little confusing to explain to young children, in our home we talk about the mysterious relationship between animals and humans and of being hopeful for things in our lives, also awaiting the birth of the Christ child if that pertains to your celebrating}

 

Four

The fourth light of Advent,

is the light of humankind.

The light of love, the light of thought,

to give and understand.

{for those that bring The Nativity into their Advent celebration, it is quite beautiful to add Nativity figures throughout the week to decorate the nature table, ending on Christmas Eve with the arrival of Jesus. However if you do not celebrate The Nativity, you can instead add human figurines to your nature table and share some thoughts with your children about humans having the capabilities to love, to care for others and our inherent responsibility to care for our earth, plants and animals which we have thought about in the previous weeks}  

 

I do realize that sharing such a personal part of our winter celebrations can be, well, intimate. But years ago, I wish I had stumbled upon some of these things myself, so that is why I have decided to share them in this space. Christmastime is a very introspective time of year for many of us. I think it is very important to pull together some simple traditions that resonate with your own family. Especially to avoid the overwhelming consumer cloud that can hang over this magical time. 

Taking time to marvel in the change of the seasons…. the quiet of winter that can so easily transform into a quietness in our souls is an amazing thing to share with our children. Such an in breath. A moment to pause and savor.

Wishing you beauty in your own celebrations.

 

18 thoughts on “Advent

  1. This is wonderful!! The link to the Advent list is also awesome thank you!!. This is our first year participating in Advent so I am a little green with this. I love the verses you share and your traditions, and I hope you don’t mind if we adopt some of your traditions!!

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  2. Such beautiful traditions. We do somethng different each week of advent as well. I love your verses and the building of your nature table. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt moments. Be well friend.

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  3. thanks for sharing these! i’ve shied away from advent because of other associations, but this is a very beautiful and simple celebration. i could see myself doing this along with renee’s advent spiral someday in the future… maybe after we get a handle on hanukkah too. ; ) bring on the hodge podge!

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  4. I am so happy to hear these little verses may find their way into your celebrating, and yes, bring on the hodge podge! Such a rich assortment of celebrating will surely do good for  the spirits of our children πŸ™‚

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