Living Advent as a Family

Advent is a season of waiting, a season filled with hope. Here are a few tips that will help you and your family:

Use an Advent calendar and/or a wreath to mark this time of preparation. Display the Wreath and/or calendar on your dining table or a prominent place as a reminder to pray with the family.

Spend time in prayer: make an appointment with God – a commitment to spend time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration or a commitment to pray the Rosary with Mary. John Paul II said “Praying the Rosary is contemplating the face of Jesus with Mary.”

Light a candle before an image of the Blessed Virgin, during meals or while praying the Rosary.

Take up a book during Advent – find a book on spirituality, on Mary, or other topic that can be read before Christmas.

Place a Nativity set in a prominent place in your home, but only put out the empty manger, some of the animals. Place some statues from your Nativity nearby, such as the Shepherd, Mary and Joseph, sheep and other animals. Each week, you can move the statues a little closer.

Participate in your parish’s Advent/Christmas Giving projects such as “adopt a family”, “give gifts to the needy” or make home visits to the elderly and homebound in your parish.

Suggest children, grandchildren or nieces/nephews to write a letter to Jesus instead of Santa.

Give children a piece of straw to place in the manger for each good deed they do during Advent as a gift to the baby Jesus.