The Advent Wreath
Last year was the first time we ever used a hanging Advent Wreath and I absolutely loved it. This year we changed it a little. Last years wreath was thrown together at the last minute. I used a plastic Christmas plate that had four holes punched in it equally spaced. Then I attached white ribbon (it was all I had) to each hole and hung it from a plant hook on the ceiling in front of our kitchen window.I placed our gold advent candle holder on the plate so that the candles would fall in the center of the hanging ribbons. I put simple greenery around the candle holder to form a wreath. It was simple and sweet, but I much prefer lovely!
This years wreath is hanging like last years, but I really wanted it to look more eloquent. We found a large wooden unfinished plate at a local craft store. Rita Chew painted it with several coats of purple paint and then finished it with a lovely glitter glaze. My husband put eye hooks in it and hung it with purple ribbon. We used the same gold advent candle holder surrounded by a green wreath. I wrapped the wreath with lovely purple ribbon trimmed with gold and finished it with a pretty bow made of the same ribbon. I do have to say I much preferred last years candles. The color was so much richer.
The Jesse Tree
This years Jesse tree is the same except I used the same purple gold trimmed ribbon on it. We use a small plastic Christmas tree for our Jesse tree. It has special meaning because when we first moved here from Dayton all of our Christmas stuff was in storage. The place we were staying at was too small for a large tree so my husband brought home this small one on Christmas eve to his depressed wife who couldn't imagine a Christmas celebrated without the trimmings. The tacky pink star that is on top is the same star that was at the top of our Christmas tree every year while I was growing up. I can't seem to part with it. Our Jesse Tree Ornaments are a mixture. Each figure has symbols that we hand made or found ornaments for. Last year I bought the Catholic Artworks complete set of Teachers Helper CDs. I love them. They have wonderful cards that can be printed and colored to hang on your Jesse tree. But I have used them for so much more.
I also painted wooden letters for the mantle this year like I had seen here and here.
We are using Advent reading suggestions from here and here. For us Advent is light in school and heavy with fun activities.
Holy Heroes Advent Adventure
For the past few years we have really enjoyed Holy Heroes Advent Adventure. Although our Jesse Tree ornaments are already made, my children still love watching the videos and doing the activities.
Other Customs we have:
All through Advent the children prepare for the coming of Jesus by adding hay for each act of charity to the manger on our main altar so hopefully Baby Jesus will have a soft bed.
On Dec 1st Mary and Joseph begin to travel all over the house........ on their way to Bethlehem. My children take turns each day moving them and on Christmas Eve they end up at the manger.
We celebrate the O' Antiphons but this year I hope to make better ornaments for our Jesse Tree and possibly an O' Antiphon House if I can find the supplies.
The day after Christmas the Wise Men begin to travel all over the house in the same manor that Mary and Joseph did finally reaching their destination on the feast of the Epiphany.
Our favorite feast during the season of Advent is the Feast of Saint Nicholas. I plan to share more about this and our activities in another post.
Favorite Sites for ideas on Feast Day Celebrations
Shower of Roses
In the Heart of My Home
These Ladies have really blessed me by sharing their ideas and celebrations. Thank You!
Have a Blessed Advent!