Welcome to a new Liturgical year in the church calendar! Today is the first Sunday of Advent. In Latin, “advent” means “coming”. During this season, Christians prepare for the coming of Jesus. The four Sundays preceding Christmas Day are recognized for the four virtues. Each of the four virtues, hope, love, joy and peace are represented by four candles; three purple and one rose. The first candle symbolizes hope. The second one symbolizes, faith, the third joy and the rose, peace. Today the first candle was lighted at church.
Growing up in the Philippines, Advent calendars nor the lighting of advent candles were not a part of our tradition. Back home, Christmas decorations go up and Christmas songs are played in shopping malls in September. Traditionally, we begin the preparation for Christmas on December 17 with Simbang Gabi, nine days of dawn masses leading up to Christmas day.
I wish I had started this tradition while the kids were at home. Today (a day late), I am starting a new family tradition of preparing an Advent calendar. Below is a quick and easy DIY Advent calendar.
Twenty-four things in our Advent calendar.
- Pray before meals.
- Attend a church or a place of worship.
- Buy a Christmas tree
- Visit an Assisted Living facility and sing Christmas carols.
- Reach out to a new friend and invite them into your home for dinner.
- Collect socks and long sleeve shirts to bring to a local homeless shelter.
- Write a letter to Santa and drop it in the mail it.
- Watch a Tree-Lighting ceremony.
- String lights around a tree.
- Read a book.
- Drive through the Christmas lights at the park.
- Buy a fruitcake.
- Mail Christmas cards.
- Donate a toy to a local toy drive.
- Put a wreath outside your front door.
- Make a Gingerbread house
- Knit a stocking
- Drink hot cocoa and dunk gingerbread cookies in it.
- Light an Advent candles every Sunday (4x)
- Bake Christmas cookies
- Trim the tree.
- Walk a mile at the park or around a lake.
- Reflect on the past year and write it in your journal
- Plant a tree.
My first Oh-So Easy DIY Advent Calendar
24 card stock, stock
24 safety pins
1 black pen
Write numbers on cards. Pin safety pin through hole on card.
Hang on a mini tree (we had this as a table centerpiece already:-)
Advent candle photos: gracesystem.org, catholicdioceseofwitchita