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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Part 2 - Keeping Advent

The Family Room
Couches are for reading: in lieu of a traditional nightly Advent Wreath devotion, we will return to a book we enjoyed as a family a few years ago: Jotham’s Journey. It is a gentle and serious story set in biblical times. Jotham is a young boy who ends up meeting the Christ Child. One reason I like this, is that we can flop down on the couch after dinner and just enjoy. With young kids, that is a much better option than formal prayers and devotions.

TVs are for watching: I LOVE all the cheesy, clay-mation Christmas specials! I also love most Christmas movies – no matter how dorky. BUT, watching these just gets my kids all “amped” up and impatient. And they certainly distract us from a focused Advent. So, what to do?

This year we are going to record all those beloved shows! I’ve already recorded “White Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol”. Now, we’ll be able to enjoy these during the 12 Days of Christmas! I know not everyone can do this, but if you can, I highly recommend it. One caveat: On those days when we are enjoying a little “foretaste” of Christmas, like St. Nicholas Day, we will probably indulge in one of these movies. Just enough to whet the appetite!

Not sure when your favorite TV specials are scheduled? Here’s a site to help you plan your viewing or recording.

A Nativity to play with: during the Advent season, we put out our “play” nativity scene in addition to our decorative one. The play one is a Playmobil Nativity set we received a couple of years ago. This year I’m going to package the pieces into 24 boxes – one for each day of Advent. Ending, of course with, the infant Jesus on Christmas Day.

Another part of our Nativity, but separate from the PlayMobil scene is a little wooden box we use as a manger. I keep a can of “hay” nearby and the kids fill the manger with hay as they serve and make sacrifices for each other. I like to combine this with the tradition of doing something secretly for someone on behalf of the “Christ Child”. We are going to make little note cards for family members to leave behind when they do a good deed. The cards will say something like, “This good deed was done for you on behalf of the Christ Child.”

Music to listen to: Christmas music - I LOVE it, but hate to start listening to it so early. How do you keep Advent without missing all your favorite music? I’ve found an amazing online “radio” station. This guy broadcasts traditional music according to the church year – and he’s an Anglican! I’ve enjoyed listening to his All Saints’ music, and I can’t wait for the Advent music.

Since I also like the less traditional and more “cultural” stuff, too, we do enjoy some regular Christmas radio on our special celebration days.


Unknown said...

Jotham's Journey sounds like a wonderful book. I checked it out on Amazon and it got rave reviews! I wish it weren't so expensive... :(

Thanks for these wonderful Advent resources and ideas!

Kerry said...

Melanie - check on eBay! I bet you might find a second-hand copy at a good price. Also -!