I am very excited to be heading into my first Advent as a Catholic-in-training. We have celebrated Advent to some extent in years past, a little more each year as I’ve been inching liturgical, but this year I really want to get into it! I thought it would be fun/helpful to write out my plan for celebrating at home. Here is my plan, which I think is totally doable although I’m sure we will end up skipping some!
Personal Advent Devotions
>Blessed Is She Advent study – I am looking forward to diving into this! It is a great mix of Scripture, reflection, and journaling. I’ll be doing this in the mornings.
>Every Sacred Sunday mass journal – This isn’t specific to Advent, but since it begins in the new liturgical year I want to mention it. I will be using it for Sundays and holy days of obligation.
>Novenas – There are a few that I will want to pray during this time, which are noted below.
Weekend Before Advent
>Make Advent candles – I bought a DIY beeswax candle-making kit, which we’ve done before. It’s a simple, fun, and useful craft that will get the kids in the right mindset, and I can tell them all about Advent while they work.
>Decorate the house – I definitely want to put some of our decorations up, but I’m not sure yet which I will hold off on until Christmas.
>24 Christmas stories – This is a new addition to our family, and I love it because it has so many different stories from the Bible and about the saints, all illustrated for young children. If you have older children, there is a version for them, too. We will start reading one of these per night on Friday, December 1.
>Christmas countdown calendars – We have the Story of Christmas, and an heirloom felt one that I made. This one isn’t about Advent, it’s just really pretty and I love it. We will start these on December 1 as well, and do them in the morning.
First Week of Advent
>First Sunday of Advent, Dec. 3 – I will start playing Advent music in the house in the mornings and afternoons. I love this Spotify playlist. We will also begin daily candle lightings of the Advent candles in the evenings along with our story readings. On Sundays we will do a small devotion with the candle lighting.
>Monday, Dec. 4 – Start Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
>Tuesday, Dec. 5 – Fill kids’ stockings with gold chocolate coins & a small gift after they go to bed.
>Wednesday, Dec. 6 – St. Nicholas Day! Kids will open their stockings and together we will pick a charity to donate to. If I feel up for it we may make St. Nicholas cookies.
>Friday, Dec. 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Go to mass, give kids their own rosaries and do a coloring page. Pray a rosary.
Second Week of Advent
>Second Sunday of Advent, Dec. 10 – Second weekly candle lighting and devotional.
>Tuesday, Dec. 12 – Our Lady of Guadalupe. Make Mexican hot chocolate & read story (which I hope to get from the library).
>Wednesday, Dec. 13 – St. Lucy’s Day. I will probably just light some extra candles and read the story this year.
>Saturday, Dec. 16 – Begin Novena to the Holy Infant Jesus. Make an O Antiphon House, but I’m not sure yet if I’ll go the easy/disposable way with paper, or if we will have time to make a 3D house we can reuse.
Third Week of Advent
>Third Sunday of Advent, Dec. 17 – Do the third weekly candle lighting and devotional. Begin O Antiphons, which will just consist of opening one of the windows on the house and saying an extra prayer.
>Nothing else this week, other than our daily readings and candle lightings. Hoping to keep it low-key and make sure we are rested for Christmas celebrations. :)
Fourth Week of Advent
>Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve this year) – Fourth weekly candle lighting. Read the Gospel account of the Nativity from Luke 2:10-14. Before bed, put baby Jesus in the manger of our nativity set. We will also probably attend our Protestant church with my family on this day (and go to mass on Christmas day instead).
To Add In Future
>I would love to make my own Jesse Tree ornaments and add this tradition in, maybe switching it out for the story book from year to year.
>I want to make this crown for St. Lucy’s Day (although I don’t even know if Meredith would wear it).