My list is very long with lots of details so there may be several posts before all is said and done. This is the first year in a long time that I will not be pregnant so I will have a little more time for things. Last year I was 8 months along and feeling very tired.
Advent will start this year on November 29th and it has come so fast this year. I could not believe how fast it approached we have been so busy the past 11 months.Lets just say 2009 was tough but the Lord worked everything out like always I can count on him. So this year we feel extra blessed and can't wait to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ
Here is a little peek at our home during Advent~
The first Sunday of Advent we will light our Advent Wreath along with Advent prayers as a family. We will continue to light the same candle all week before dinner along with our prayers. The second week starting Sunday we will then light our second candle along with our Prayers until Christmas. Christmas we will replace the advent wreath with our Christ candle which we will burn at dinner every night until Lent. During Lent we put it away and will put it back after Easter.
We will be saying the St. Andrew's Christmas Novena 15 times a day until Christmas.
We will be adding again like past years Traditions from my side and my husband’s side. I am Irish and German and my husband is German and Polish. So we follow many of their traditions as a family. Here is a couple from each country
Our Irish traditions at Christmas~
We will have a single white candle in the window on Christmas Eve. This is still practiced today and has a number of purposes. The primary purpose was having a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they travelled looking for shelter. The candle also indicated a safe place for priests to perform mass as; during Penal Times this was not allowed.
I will also make many Irish meals. One for sure will be my homemade bread full of Caraway seeds and Raisins along with a Pitcher of Milk on Christmas Eve along with our Christ Candle. We do this to remember the Holy family if they were to be traveling along our home they would be welcome. Could you just imagine opening your home to the Holy family at that time?
Our German Traditions Christmas or in German Weihnachten~
The Advent calendar (Adventskalender) is a German invention which we do with our children. We have used a paper chain over the years and the last couple years have turned it into a more of an Advent paper chain thanks to Catholicmoms what a great idea.
We hope to add an Advent Calendar from Germany next year as a surprise for Advent.
Of course St Nicholas will come and we will celebrate on Dec 6th.
The Nativity is also a German tradition which we love we have several of them in our home. I would love to have a Nativity Pyramid maybe someday.
The Christmas tree was started in Germany as well. We will place our tree up 2 weeks before Christmas but will wait until Christmas Eve to turn on our lights that is the hard part for us. Oh and of course lots of German food and cookies.
Our Polish Christmas traditions~
Clean; clean we will clean the whole house in time for Christmas Eve including painting the inside of our house this year. It is said that if the windows and home were not clean by Christmas Eve then they will remain dirty the next year. My husband’s grandma had polish hospitality from what he remembers and we want to install that into our girls. We always set a place at the table in case someone needs food and warmth from the outside during Christmas supper. Now we have never used that spot but you never know when Christ might stop by or maybe an Angel.
This year we will be adding fruit to our tree and small wrapped candies this is also done in Poland. My husband grew up with this in his house.
We will also put our Stockings out on Dec 5th for St Nicholas to fill. My husband grew up with this so we will continue this.
Christmas day we will attend Mass but there will be no cooking visiting or cleaning that day. We also will be celebrating St. Stephens’s day.
Something new for us this year that we have been meaning to add to our family traditions is the Oplatek. This is a Christmas wafer made from flour and water. In the past these wafers were made by the religious and brought to homes during Advent. We hope to send these to family in there greeting cards over the years something I wish I had started years ago.
Of course there will be Polish food and sweets as well.
We will attend Mass as much as we can to prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus Christ.
Some other things we will be doing~
Holy Heroes Advent which we our enjoying.
Our family Jesse Tree with nightly bible readings and coloring pages
Lots of Christmas stories
Tons of baking
We will of course be including the "O Antiphons and many feast days. More on this later.
Something new this year will be Jesse Tea what a great idea Jessica I think she got the idea from Alice.
Thanks to both of you for your ideas this looks like so much fun.
We have filled our reading shelf with all our Christmas books and will read 2 a night. We are hoping to add some of the ideas from http://ebeth.typepad.com/serendipity/ Advent around the world how fun.