Preparing as a Family this Advent
Every year the Church gives us four weeks to help us prepare to welcome Jesus in our hearts at Christmas. Each year Advent can give us pause to look at our relationship with God. The hustle and bustle of Christmas can easily pull us out of preparation mode and into celebration mood. This year we need Advent more than ever. Some families began putting up Christmas decorations right after Halloween. Perhaps they felt they “needed a little Christmas now.” Christmas fills our thoughts with a sense of anticipation and eagerness – especially in the eyes of the children. Let us not rush the holidays so much that we skip Advent entirely.
Advent teaches us to open our hearts, minds, and souls to the power of the Savior in our lives. Can we make room for the Savior this year? We probably will not have as many social activities and in person shopping sprees this holiday pulling us in different directions. Can you make the effort to do something special as a family this Advent? Can you take a few minutes and slow down with your child(ren) so you can help them channel their excitement and expectations for Christmas into moments of prayerful preparation? Here are suggestions of ways to create an Advent space as a family:
Use an Advent calendar to count the days to Christmas as a family. We sent home an advent calendar in the family folder last week. Add your own special family rituals and acts of kindness.
Create or make an Advent wreath. Include your child(ren) in the preparations. Perhaps you can place it on your dinner table so you can light it and say a prayer before you eat dinner. Use a simple prayer that your child can echo, perhaps a line at a time after you. Here is an example:
Light of Advent,
Light of Christ,
Prepare our hearts
With patience and kindness.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Come, Son of Mary, come.
Come, Son of God, come.
Journey each day of Advent with a beautiful digital experience offered by CHA (Catholic Health Association). Through a printed message, a children's message, a video reflection or a brief adult message on a handout, they are offering a myriad of ways for you to reflect on this important season. Feel free to share this resource with others. Their offerings include:
Virtual Advent Calendar
Use this daily "Seek and Find" virtual Advent calendar that will connect you with each day's reflection, video reflection and children's message.
Access the calendar
Advent Daily Reflection Handout
This folded 11x17 resource includes the Advent Nativity illustration and brief daily messages as well as a coloring sheet. Perfect to share with persons who are homebound, in residential care or others who would enjoy reading a brief a daily message.
» Download the handout
Children's Coloring Sheet
This sheet can be downloaded and printed for use with children to share the story of Jesus' coming.
» Download the coloring sheet
Daily Video Reflections for Adults
Watch and listen to each day's reflection. Each also comes with a Closed Caption version. You can download and share them.
» Access the video files
The Villa Christmas Cards
In the first two weeks since the Christmas cards went on sale, we have sold half of the 1000 cards we had printed. If this pace keeps up, we hope to have them all sold by the middle of December. If you want to purchase a set of cards (10 cards for $15), please do not delay or you may miss out on sending the sweetest Christmas card you have ever seen! Order through the school website or call the office (314-771-2224).
Popcornopolis Sale is ON Until December 8th
Who doesn’t like Popcornopolis’ Carmel Popcorn? Need a stocking stuffer or an easy gift for a family this Christmas? Popcornopolis has a super easy online ordering system. Your order will be delivered right to your front door. Send the link below to friends and relatives. They can place an order and have it delivered to their own homes with out any contact from you. (There are no order forms or money to collect.) Be sure that your orders are placed by December 8th. 50% of total sales is donated back to our school!