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Make an Advent Wreath and Light the Candles

 

If your family traditions include the celebration of Advent as preparation for Christmas, an Advent wreath is a good symbol to use. The wreath can be made in a variety of ways, often with evergreens (real or silk versions) with the circle of the wreath signifying something that continues without end. There are four candles, one for each week of Advent. Traditionally, there were 3 purple and 1 pink, with the pink signifying "Rejoice" Sunday. It is a reminder that the time of waiting for the Savior to come is almost over. . Today, some use blue candles instead of purple. (The reason for the color change is that Advent is more a time of preparation than of mourning or sorrow and purple indicates more penitence and sorrow than preparation and anticipation.) Wreaths can be decorated with ribbons, flowers or other items. Each family's use of the wreath can vary.

 

The family ceremony with the wreath can be before dinner, in the evening or any time when the family can gather together. Choose someone to light the candle. It can be the youngest, oldest, father, mother, grandparent or the kid in the middle. On the first Sunday you light one purple (or blue) candle. On the second, you light the first candle plus another purple (or blue) going in a clockwise direction. On the third Sunday, light the first two plus the pink one; and on the fourth Sunday, all four candles are lit. When the candles are lit, you can sing a song together such as "O Come, O Come Emmanuel", read from Scripture or do a reading from a number of books available. It might be a good time to discuss ways to work together to prepare for the holiday and share with others. It's also a time for sharing things like favorite Christmas experiences and memories. You can also choose this time for a family activity and a snack.


The Secret Family

One of our favorite family traditions is that of selecting a "Secret Family" and surprising them with fun stuff throughout the month of December. Sometimes we exchange with other families. Other times we just choose a family with children that will enjoy our escapades as much as we do. (If we just choose, we do let parents know, so they know that what we leave is safe for their children.)

We don't leave expensive gifts. Instead we might make a paper chain in red and green and drape it over the bushes in their front yard. We leave things like candy canes, hot chocolate, popcorn or handmade decorations for their tree.  After leaving our surprises, we ring the doorbell and run away. (One night we got stopped by the police who wanted to know what we were doing as we ran to our "get-away car"!! We were leaving "goodies" for a family with five children.) 

There are some children who never did find out who we were--and those are the best memories of all. 


NativityActivities

Nativity Activities

Written, Illustrated and Photographed by

Kas Winters

The Mother of Family Ideas™

 

160 pages Holiday Family Fun

 

PRINTED BOOK

11" x 8 1/2", Perfect Bound

Black and White pages with Full Color Cover

Includes FULL SIZE PATTERNS
Usually shipped within 48 hours

 

$15.00 for printed book

 

PLUS TAX & SHIPPING

For orders outside of the US, e-mail for a shipping rate prior to placing an order.

kaswinmark@yahoo.com

FULL COLOR BOOKAZINE

(Electronic downloadable

flipbook file)

 

$9.99 for electronic flipbook

PLUS TAX AS APPLICABLE, NO SHIPPING REQUIRED

 

Celebrate the Night Before Christmas

with Traditions of Your Own

Christmas Eve

December 24th

 

Every family has their own set of special things that they do and times that they do them. With children often having to divide their holiday time between parents and grandparents in different locations, traditions can be harder to maintain, but are also probably more important than ever. Here are some of ours that might either work for your family or give you ideas for creating some traditions of your own.

 

 

Depending on the ages of our children at the time, we went to church services either at midnight, early evening or to special children's services late in the afternoon on December 24th. Whatever the time, attendance at a celebration of Christmas has always been key to  our family traditions.

 

 

Some of the other things we do include changing the ribbons and candles on the advent wreath to bright red and lighting all four candles. We sing a Christmas carol together and use it as time for a prayer before our Christmas Eve dinner.

 

 

The children place the baby Jesus in the creché. Until Christmas Eve, the manger scene has the other people but no baby. (You might also choose to add the Magi after Christmas if you leave decorations up until Epiphany.) Reading the Christmas Story from the Bible fits right into the activities too.

 

In addition to the religious traditions, we also celebrate the Santa stuff by reading "The Night Before Christmas" and hanging our stockings (even though we don't have a chimney). We leave cookies and milk for Santa, using a special plate and Santa mug and there is always a carrot or apple for the reindeer too. Jingle bells have been known to ring after the children are "nestled, all snug in their beds".


Put the FUN in Parenting!

Mother Lode

The Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy

Over 5,000 Ideas for Tots through Teens

By Kas Winters 

USD $20.00

 

Kids' Craft of the Month


Christmas

December 25th

 

Experience the Reason for the Season

Kids know all about Santa, toys and gifts from the receiving perspective. Spend time helping them to experience giving from the other side. Take toys to a location where they can be distributed to children who need them. Fill stockings for elderly neighbors and spend some time visiting them and listening to what they have to say when you deliver the stockings. Bake extra cookies or other goodies to share and have the children accompany you when they are delivered. Make a list of relatives that haven't seen your child or children in a while. Call them and let the kids talk. Spend at least one hour together doing some sort of service. Shop for someone who can't easily get to the store. Babysit for a mom who needs a break. Teach by example and have fun in the process. Make some "giving" memories with your family. Set up a creché (nativity scene) and hide the baby until Christmas Eve. Let the children place the baby Jesus in the manger.


 

Have a Birthday Party for Jesus

 

 

Have children bake and decorate a birthday cake for Jesus. On Christmas Day, light the candles and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.


 

Celebrate Christmas by being "Santa" to others.

 

Get your family involved in a Secret Santa event that helps another family. Participate in a Christmas Angel program if they have one in the shopping malls near your home.

 

Fill stockings for people who might not get anything for Christmas. We have filled them for children, teens in detention centers and individuals who are HIV positive. You can often get names from your church or some churches distribute stockings and just give out a list of the types of gift items that are appropriate for recipients.

 

Adopt a family. Choose one or more gift item for each family member and prepare a Holiday dinner for the family. Go together as a family to deliver it. Families in need can be located through many churches and through programs such as the Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul.

 

Fill bags with candy and non-perishable goodies for a local food bank. Use plain plastic zip bags or purchase some treat bags from a party store and fill them with holiday treats. Deliver them to a food bank and they will hand them out to families.


CHRISTMAS DIRECTORY


FAMILY CHRISTMAS IDEAS


CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS & ORNAMENTS


 CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES  


 CHRISTMAS CRAFTS


CHRISTMAS

FOOD FUN


CHRISTMAS RECIPES


CHRISTMAS CRAFT PATTERNS


CHRISTMAS GIFTS


Angel Gifts


Gift Directory


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12/02/14

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