HAVING A MEANINGFUL ADVENT WITH YOUNG CHILDREN
Merry Christmas! As we approach the last Sunday of Advent this crazy year, I wanted to make a list of ways to celebrate the holiday season with your kiddos in a COVID-safe way. Here are some ways to have a meaningful advent with your family, and a few ways to celebrate yourself during naptime or a snack break.
Aside from representing the eternity of God, life, immortality, etc, advent wreaths are a beautiful addition to your holiday decor (and also smell great, if they are real evergreen). Head to your local craft store and grab some greenery, three purple candles, one rose candle, and one white candle, and build a wreath to share with your family.
An interesting (and cheap!) way to reward your kiddos for good behavior is to put hay in a manger every time they do something good to make a comfy bed for baby Jesus. I love that this is a tangible way to help your children prepare for the arrival of baby Jesus and also that it encourages acts of service and selflessness.
THE ST. ANDREW CHRISTMAS NOVENA
Prayed 15 times a day from November 30th through the season of advent, the St. Andrew Christmas Novena is a great way to remind your kids of the meaning of the season (in other words, not HotWheels). This novena has traditionally been prayed by those struggling through infertility, but today is prayed by all those seeking help from Our Lord. I also love that the words of the prayer are a great way to start to introduce the Christmas story to our kiddos!
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother.
Advent devotionals are a great way to step away from the day-to-day craziness of the Christmas rush and spend some time alone and in prayer. I’ve linked some great resources below to find various devotionals in both online and print form. While it can be hard to find time consistently, these devotionals are both relaxing and rewarding in your spiritual life.
Music is a great way to relax and celebrate the season in a more passive way -- maybe even multitasking! Below are some Spotify playlists, one more traditional (thing Oldies-but-Goodies) and one more modern (Hillsong Worship!!). And, of course, more can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you stream music from.
As we finish out December, my family and I are wishing you a blessed rest of the advent season full of reflection and waiting. We look forward to welcoming Jesus at Christmas as we celebrate his nativity and holiness.