For years and years, I was a put the Christmas-tree-up-Thanksgiving-weekend kind of girl. If we traveled for Thanksgiving, and Sunday was going to be the first Sunday of Advent, I’d go so far as to put the tree up before Thanksgiving. Once the kids were old enough to understand what was going on, of course the rest of the decorations, including stockings had to go up too. We’ve hit the ground running the very first day of Advent the past couple of years, While we’ve been filled with Christmas cheer, and while we’ve had nothing but really amazing Decembers, this year, I wanted to try a different approach.
I wanted to focus on Advent instead of counting down to Christmas.
I wanted to focus on what the Jesse Tree actually is, and why it’s important.
I wanted some time to do all of this without the distraction of singing snowmen and Santas that go Ho Ho Ho when you walk past them .
So we didn’t rush to decorate this year. We celebrated the first week of Advent by focusing on the first week of Advent. Imagine that.
So we did we do?
We set the Advent wreath up at our table. We pulled out our Advent book: Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family, which comes in handy.
We started reading the Jesse Tree readings every night (I’ve always thought the readings were too long, this year, they were ready to listen). We started reading the story of the birth of Jesus one lift-the door at a time.
We topped off this first week with a special Mass for St. Nicholas and then dinner with Santa. After getting hopped up on candy canes and Oreos, I was floored when we walked in the door and Andrew asked if we were going to light the Advent wreath and eat the candy from the calendars. We skipped the candle, but they knew exactly what symbol we were reading about (the Ram, for Isaac).
Tomorrow we will decorate the house, and start the frenzy. But my fingers are crossed that they’ll still ask for their Advent calendar- candy and all.