Thursday, October 23, 2008

Advent is right around the corner....

According to my ticker just to the right - it is a mere one month and one week until the first Sunday in Advent - November thirtieth. I debated whether to wait until we were a little closer before sharing this post but decided that the earlier the better as many of us need to budget for any crafts we want to do, both in the buying of the materials and the planning of our time. So here is a post filled with links to sites about Advent, including a number with crafts and some links lead us to wonderful ideas that will help us to prepare spiritually for the Christmas season, as well as just plain have some fun with our children.

So let us begin with a link that takes us to a site with a detailed description of Advent and the various symbols associated with it.

Then we have a site with the complete advent readings.

Another interesting site is A Religious Christmas , a website with daily advent readings, an advent wreath explanation and links to prayers, readings and more links to advent and Christmas activities & meditations. It also has a Jesse Tree link along with the verses to O Come Emanuel as well as some other links. Unfortunately there was st least one outdated link on this page. Make sure you visit the Christmas Craft link - it appears to be filled with neat ideas.

A Religious Christmas also links to this site http://www.cptryon.org/prayer/adx/adwreath.html#begin and you might want to check it out as well.

Then I came across a Pre School and Kindergarten age activities page that was fun.

Want to make your own candy calendar - this mum explains how - at the bottom of her advent page.

A fun spot with some activities I am going to explore more closely is this page.

Whew! Here is a page just filled with links - possibly some of the very ones I have here. Click here to link to Catholicmom and here are some of the various ideas she has listed;
A recipe for Old Fashioned Gumdrops or how about Microwaveable Salt dough ornaments! Then there is a neat craft for making an advent wreath from your children's hand prints. Mind there are some dead links and then others that take you to a few sale sites. So far all of the sale sites I have ended up on were Catholic.

Here is one link that I landed on from her many links that lead to other neat ones Advent Bingo - this was suggested Sunday School activity but sounds like something fun one could do in the family - especially large one like ours! And one last example of one her ideas - felt ornaments - jump quickly to it by clicking on this link http://www.catholicmom.com/felt_ornaments.htm I made something similar over 26 years ago for our first Christmas tree as a couple - wish I knew where some of our albums were, I would post a picture of this tree. It was rather a beautiful tree considering our humble means - a one bedroom apartment with a couch, a chair, and a cardboard box for our coffee table where we ate our meals. We were university students the first few years of marriage with not a lot of money, but that tree is a wonderful memory for me!

Okay lets look at some other sites out there.

Here is one craft I might attempt - alone first to see if it works as well as they make it sound ""Stained Glass Windows" - Photocopy coloring pages or clip art that looks similar to a stained glass windows, preferably ones with preferably heavy black lines. Color them in heavily on one side with wax crayons. Trim off extra paper on side of design and turn over on a paper towel. Wipe baby oil (use a postal water tube - we found several at Office Max for 69 cents and up) on with sponge tip on postal water tube. Make sure the whole back of the design is coated with oil, then wipe dry. Tape on glass windows with clear tape." Here is the link where it, and other ideas as well as advent meanings of various symbols is here

Here is a somewhat secular advent calendar - in the shape of a paper chain - I call it secular as the templates they have were not much related to the religious theme of Christmas - but one could easily remedy that with their own templates here is the link. I think this would be a fun activity to do a few afternoons over the next month as the colder weather brings thoughts of Christmas cheer and advent to the forefront of our children's minds. I know mine are already dreaming about Christmas day and imagining what their little niece will look like on her first Christmas. I would perhaps use these Jesse tree templates in lieu of theirs. This would be a charming little decoration for each child to have in their room - or in the case of shared rooms - their favorite spot in their room.

Here is an About.com page dedicated to advent calendars and some are quite unique and lend themselves to be made in a permanent fashion or simply from paper and thus disposable. One of them - a felt tree with felt ornaments reminds me of one I used to make to give away and we our own that we put up every year - until my last one disappeared in one of our moves. And over the years my set of patterns for the ornaments were misplaced as well. They came all the way from our university days so it makes me sad to know they are gone. I have not had the heart to redo them - but one day - I will. Maybe even this year. Who knows! Keep checking - 'cause if I do - I just might do a giveaway! So here is the link - go check it out and see if any of these make your calendars appeal to your family!

Oh wow - here is one idea we have done in the past - also found from the above page - but here is the link directly to it, good deeds for Advent. I think we will do it again this year. It is a great way to get into the spirit of Advent.

Here is a Saint Nicolas Calendar - okay - they call it a Santa Claus calendar but we don't celebrate him in our home - it's Saint Nicolas who comes on the sixth and leave treats on the breakfast table and then it is he who returns to help me wrap presents in my "work shop" the location of which varies from year to year - but always has a locked door. He and I play Christmas music and munch on candies and treats that are slipped under the door while little ones sit with ears pressed against the door listening to he and I chat and chuckle as we work together. Then Christmas Eve he comes back with Baby Jesus and puts the gifts under the tree. Anyway - here is the link to it. If I use it - I will lengthen the beard and thin the face out a bit - to more closely resemble Saint Nick. If only I had a scanner here at home that worked - I would draw my own and put it up for you all to use.

Most of us have heard of the domestic church Fridge art site so we must include a link to them so - click here.
So far most of my links have dealt with Advent calendars and few have dealt with the Jesse tree. A convert to the Catholic faith I still no little of it and so had to do a little researching so as to bring both you and I more knowledge of them.

Here is a link with an actual picture of the Jesse Tree and this is the site that I am using as my guide for building our first Jesse Tree.

Here is an interesting pick. This is a really great site that not only explains about the Jesse tree, but also has a schedule up for the bible readings that are related to the ornaments that are put up on the tree through out Advent. (Please note that this is a Protestant site, as best as I can tell, for those who wish to keep to strictly Catholic interpretations of the Jesse Tree symbols.)

EWTN's explanation of the Jesse Tree symbols.

Stencils of the ornaments/symbols used on the tree.

There is not a lot of variation to the Jesse tree and so there is not much need to post a lot of links about it. If anyone is aware of some interesting links regarding the Jesse tree that I missed - please be sure to drop me a line through the comment section and I will be happy to add them to this post.

I am going to put a link to this post in my personal links at the top of my page and it will be called Advent Activity Links. In this way, one can simply come back now and then and easily find a few more ideas for their Advent!


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1 comment:

Laura K (NC) said...

Found your blog (again) through Peggy...

I haven't done enough for Advent, probably, but I finally got an Advent tablecloth hemmed. It is almost impossible to find a purple tablecloth, and the ones available are either too fancy for our daily table or too expensive (or both), so I got some nice purple material, cut it to fit, and hemmed it so it could withstand a lot of washings. It's a simple thing but it is SO not red or green or gold, and with our house not being decorated for Christmas yet (to the chagrin of my kids), it's a great big purple reminder of *why* we haven't decorated yet.

That and the advent wreath are the only things we've done this year. But I'm sponsoring an RCIA candidate, a 17-year-old, who has never participated in any advent traditions. I made her an inexpensive advent wreath for her family's table. According to this girl, her sister and mother might do RCIA next year. So pray with me that this advent wreath -- this advent -- will be a reminder of Christ in Christmas.

(Laura from the Mocksville co-op)