During the first week of Advent, our parish offers wall calendars (great for remembering saint feast days!) and the Magnificat Advent Companion to all the parishioners. We've been reading from the Magnificat Advent Companion as a family.
We read the prayer and reflection of the day every night after dinner. Then the girls get to open their advent calendars. One of the calendars displays the nativity scene and has a bible verse and picture behind each door. The other calendar has small chocolates treats behind each door. (We open the bible verse calendar first.) The girls take turns opening the doors and sharing the chocolate. So far there have only been a few times when the treat didn't make it to the second mouth. We are getting better though.
Our advent wreath sits on the home altar. We were able to use last years purple and pink candles, since they still had some life left in them.
|One of the Advent calendars we are opening this year.|
Last night we left our shoes at the front door in hopes that St. Nicholas might make a stop. I love how each year, another pair of little shoes is added to the family line up. :)
After emptying the contents of her shoe, my 3-year old glanced out the window and asked me where St. Nick went. I told her "Well, he went back to heaven to be with Jesus, Mother Mary and the saints." Quite satisfied with that answer, she went back to eating her chocolate coin. (Whew, good answer, Mama.)
|St. Nicholas visited our new house and left surprises for the kiddos|
This year St. Nick filled the shoes with chocolate coins, candy canes, festive socks, saint blocks, a Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas movie to share, and the baby of the family received a miraculous medal clippie from the ChewsLife online shop. ChewsLife a catholic company that makes chewable, baby-safe rosaries, bracelets, mama necklaces. What I like most about their products is that they are made very well and come in so many different color combinations. Oh, and they also have a St. Benedict bracelet for babies and adults.
These handcrafted wood saint blocks were made by AlmondRodToys. I've been waiting to get a set of these for my kiddos. Last year, they sold out before I could order! I made sure to put my order in before Thanksgiving this time.
Each block has a short prayer or story and the feast day of the saint on the backside. I love the simple depictions of the illustrated saints. They are also great teaching tools. I set aside three blocks to put in Easter baskets for next year. This mama likes to think ahead. :)
This year we weren't able to get our christmas tree on the feast of St. Nick, but I found a new coloring page for the girls to decorate and put up on our fridge. There are several nice clip art images on StNicholasCenter.org.
|Jolly old St. Nicholas coloring page|
I was happy to find this coloring page - the portrayal of St. Nicholas is spot on! He looks quite bishop-y with his miter and crosier. I'll be saving this page and the St. Nicholas image we found last year, for our homeschool achieve.