June 12, 2024

An empty manger inside a cave under the star of Bethlehem.

It’s Advent! Many of us miss out on the power and anticipation of the Advent season because of the busyness of preparing for Christmas. It doesn’t have to be that way. Following are ideas to help you make the most of Advent.

  • Don’t put the figurines in the stable of your Nativity scene right away. Have the Magi, shepherds, Mary and Joseph travel through your home to the stable, and move them closer each week. Add the infant Jesus on Christmas morning. This will help build the anticipation of Christ’s birth.
  • Listen to Advent songs instead of Christmas songs. Examples include: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, People Look East, O Come, Divine Messiah, and Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus.
  • Hang a stocking for Jesus. Fill it with notes and prayer intentions during Advent.
  • Teach your children to be generous. Have them pick one of their gifts to give away, or have them shop for a gift to give away.
  • Find ways as a family to be generous by baking, giving and doing things for others together.
  • Write letters of appreciation to put in people’s stockings or Christmas cards.
  • Get/make a Jesse tree and ornaments and pray the daily devotions.
  • Learn about saints whose feasts are during Advent and celebrate them.
  • Read Advent readings, reflections and Bible stories.
  • Get an Advent wreath. Light it each week and pray around it.

Once you get to Christmas, do not open gifts until you have prayed and thanked God the Father for the gift of Jesus. Thank Joseph for taking care of the Holy Family, and thank Mary for her yes to God.