Holy Ducklings

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

10 Ways To Make Advent Special For Your Little Ducklings :)

"I’m participating in the Keeping Christ in Christmas Blog Carnival, hosted by Raising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Jesus as the Reason for the Christmas season. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”
Hello everyone! I thought I'd compile a list of activities that can make Advent a really special time for you and your family. It's easy to get sucked into the commercialism of it all...so here is a compilation of things to keep it simple and to keep Christ in Christmas...God Bless & Have Fun :)

1. Buy/Make an Advent wreath for your home. 
On the first day of Advent, light the first purple candle on your wreath. Our family sings various traditional Christmas hymns around the wreath such asVeni, Emmanuel and Adeste Fideles. Continue lighting the candles each week for the coming of the Christ Child. The last week, light the purple candle in celebration of the arrival of Jesus.The website Catholic Icing has a super cute advent wreath craft to make with your children :)

2. Read a Verse from Luke 2 Every Night. 
Break it up so that you read a little each night until Christmas. Explain to your Little Ducklings what each verse means and give examples for their understanding. This is very important to help little ones familiarize themselves with the story of Christ's birth. 

3. Print/Hang a Scripture Chain. 
This has more meaning instead of the plain red/green paper ones that signify nothing. The website The Things I Love Most has a wonderful ready-to-print chain. Now, the countdown to Christmas will have meaning :)

4. Emphasize Charitable Acts. 
This should be done year round, but there are so many opportunities this time of year to really GIVE GIVE GIVE. One fun way is to anonymously surprise a neighbor by leaving cookies, a gift, or a card on their doorstep. I know someone that collects change all year long and leaves the jar on a stranger's doorstep.....SO NEAT :) Donating toys or money to charities also teaches young ducklings the beauty of giving.

5. Attend Midnight Mass On Christmas Eve.
If your church offers this, in my opinion, it's got to be one of the most beautiful visions I have ever laid eyes upon; the dark interior church lit by masses of bright candles, the light's reflection of the nativity and life-size crucifix....all surrounded by beautiful pre-lit Christmas trees. Not to mention, the glorious Latin mass sung with Traditional hymns. 

6. Celebrate the Feast of St.Nicholas & St. Lucia
These feasts are quite fun for the little ones during advent....and very important. St.Nicholas's feast lands on December 6th. St. Nicholas, who we now call Santa Clause lived in the third century. It is said that he tossed money into the window of the home of 3 poor sisters who were destitute of dowries. The money landed in their shoes....or stockings they say. To celebrate his feast day each year, we put our own shoes out on December 5th night to awaken the next morning to them full of treats :) 

St. Lucia's feast day is December 13th. She was a martyr born in Sicily. It was said that she brought food to Christians who practiced their faith in dark tunnels to avoid persecution. In order to see in the dark tunnels, she wore a wreath of candles on her head. On her feast day, we celebrate by dressing in white (with a red sash around the waist), wearing a wreath on our head, and making a feast of bread. My site has a tutorial on how to make a Saint Lucia wreath

7. Set Up a Nativity Set & Attend a Live Nativity
What a beautiful way to get ready for the birth of Christ! I encourage you to only set up the animals and the manger right now because Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and the Three Wise Men haven't arrived yet. Set Mary and Joseph far away from the manger as they are making their long journey to the stable right now. Each day, move them a little closer. On Christmas Day, what a surprise it will be when your young ones wake up and find baby Jesus in the manger. It's up to you, but we also have the Three Wise Men come later and slowly make their journey to the Baby Jesus after Christmas is over. Another way to emphasize the beauty of Christ's birth is to go to a live nativity....this can be one of the most memorable gifts of the season. 

8. Pray the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Every Night as a Family. 
Beautiful novena that keeps Christ's intention for the season close to your heart. Get the beautiful printable novena card from here http://joyfilledfamily.blogspot.com/2011/11/christmas-novena.html

9. Make your presents.
Making your presents can have more meaning.....they aren't bought from a cold Target shelf that has little thought into. I'm not saying buying your presents is all bad, but maybe make a few with your children to teach them about putting their hearts and time into something for somebody. 

10. Have a Birthday Party For Jesus
This is a great way to emphasize to your young ones that this is the day that Christ was born. What better way than a birthday party. Bake a cake and blow up the balloons. Adorn the cake with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS." Have the kids make a present for him and wrap it under the tree. Last year, we did all of this and boy was it special. 
Here are the links to the other blog carnival participants. I hope you'll take the time to visit them and leave a comment on their posts! :) The list will be updated throughout the day, so please do come back and check on them. God bless us all!

 Homeschool Mosaics: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Joy: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Advent Interruptions
The Breadbox Letters: Interrupted by Glory
TwentyTuesdayAfternoons: Keeping Christ in Christmas/ The Season of Giving / A Wee Bit of Beach Holiday Angst
The Learning Basket: Staying With the Nativity
 Story Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Rosary Mom: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Ate Maui: Hoping and Bringing Hope
Written By the Finger of God: 12 Traditions for Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Dominique's Desk: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Felix at Fifty: What Jesus Wants for Christmas
Mommy Bares All: Birthday Cake for the Birthday Boy on Christmas Day
 Between Now and Later: Keeping Christ in Christmas, I am trying...
Lique's Antics: Family Antics: Christmas Reflection
Life of Fortunate Chances: Our First Ever Christmas: Keeping Christ in Christmas
The Mommy Journey: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Roller Coaster Ride: How to Remind Your Kids of Jesus Christ This Christmas
Cymplified: Christ-Centered Christmas: Cymplified!
Mountain Grace: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Touring Kitty: Grown-up Christmas List
Mommy Chinkysoup for the Soul: A Very Special Christmas
City Girl, Country Home: Finding Jesus in a Flurry
 Coffee Moments with Sam: Christmas Unwrapped: 5 Presents Our Kids Truly Deserve
Raising Lifelong Learners: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 The Diary of a Sower: Keeping Christ in Christmas (link not working yet)
Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Raising (and Teaching) Little Saints: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Truly Rich Mom: The Greatest Gift of All This Christmas
 Joy-Filled Family: CHRIST in Christmas
Blueberry 010: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Deeper Truth Blog: Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival
Holy Ducklings: 10 Ways to Make Advent Special for Your Little Ducklings


  1. great list of practical tips that should be at the foundation of all family advent plans - ALL FOR!

    continued prayers for a blessed advent and joyfilled Christmas.

    1. Thanks Lena...May God Bless you and your family this Advent season :)

  2. Oh my goodness, you and I have similar posts, except yours is better cause I forgot to write about the St. Andrew novena even though we are doing it. I'm lurking at your blog later today it looks very interesting.

    1. I just read your ideas...SUPER! I love the nativity cookies...my husband and I thought it would be neat to build a nativity out of snowmen. Maybe next year when we have more time...it would take forever! Love your blog! God Bless you & your family this Christmas :)

  3. Wonderful... I especially love the idea of the Scripture chain!

  4. We're doing about five out of your list. Will have to look up the Scripture chain though! Thanks for the ideas! Will be hanging around here for more.

    1. You are welcome Mariel! I just checked out your blog....I love your Advent themed playroom....super organized :)God Bless ~Jenny

  5. Hi dear Jennifer! :)

    So sorry for the late comment. Thank you SO much for joining the carnival! :)

    I LOVED reading your post — you shared some wonderful tips/activities. We weren't able to "do" St. Lucia/Lucy this year, but will definitely try to next year! :) We do celebrate St. Nicholas Day in our own way though. :) Will also try the scripture chain and St. Andrew novena! :) Oh, and the homemade presents (though I'm not very good at things like that!)

    We had a birthday party for Jesus, too, a really simple one. But the kids enjoyed just the same! :)

    Thank you for the reminder of how to keep Christ in Christmas! :) God bless always!

    1. Hi Tina!

      I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! You are welcome and thank you for administering the blog carnival :) Thank you also for the wonderful ideas :) God Bless