Each week at our Classical Conversations homeschool group, we have a “family presentation” and one of the families in our group shares a little bit about themselves — their heritage, a hobby they enjoy, a trip they’ve taken, etc. It’s really a fun way to learn all kinds of interesting things, and it’s one of my favorite parts of our weekly group!
A couple weeks ago, the Genda family shared their family’s advent wreath tradition, and I was really intrigued as they described how they celebrate the first season of the Christian calendar on each of the four Sundays before Christmas, lighting candles, reading the Christmas story and a devotional, sharing a meal, giving little gifts to one another and really focusing on the season of advent.
The girls were excited about the tradition as well, and that weekend we headed to Hobby Lobby to put together our own traditional advent kit!
I say “traditional” advent kit because we’re celebrating each of the four Sundays of advent, but actually, I’ve taken liberties with the tradition. Traditionally, there are just four taper candles — three violet and one rose — although some people add a white candle to the center for Christmas Eve. However, we decided to use colors that compliment our holiday decor since the wreath has a prominent place on our breakfast bar.
I was excited to find a round hat box at Hobby Lobby that was the perfect size for our advent kit so that each year everything can be packed away safely in our Christmas boxes. Inside my kit, I included an advent candle holder and wreath, four taper candles, 1 larger candle for the center of the wreath and this printable advent devotional, which was written by the Genda family.
This year advent starts on December 2nd, and our plan for each Sunday is to read the advent devotional and light the candle(s) for the week. Then we’ll sing a few carols and eat a nice dinner together.
I was torn on whether to include gifts as part of our celebration because I certainly don’t want that to become the focus, but we decided to do a little thoughtful gift each week as well instead of saving all of our gifts for Christmas morning. The first week the big girls will be getting their first real Bibles, with faux-leather cover and all, and the little girls will each get a Bible story book. We’re also going to do warm fleece scarves, a homemade treat and their annual ornament. On Christmas Eve they’ll exchange the gifts they choose for one another.
I’m really looking forward to taking the time to slow down and focus on advent each week with a little bit of tradition and reverence. It’s too easy to fly through the holidays each year, and I think this will help us savor the season a little bit more!
Click here to download or print the advent devotional. Cut along the dotted lines and then staple the pages together along the left side to create a little booklet to read from each week.
Join us as we celebrate 101 Days of Christmas with new DIY projects, gift ideas, traditions and more every day from now through Christmas!
|Mandi Ehman is the founder and publisher behind Life Your Way and the co-author of All in Good Time, as well as a wife and the homeschooling mom to four beautiful girls. She lives with her family on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia and loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.|