Even if you were not able to be with us when we went LIVE .. we still asked for you to "register" below the video and let us know you were with us!! And be sure to scroll down to see all the different idea and opportunities to add to your Advent... start today!
Advent Night VIRTUALLY was LIVE STREAMED December 2nd at 7pm
This Advent join us for a journey on The Road to Bethlehem, an opt-in digital discipleship program designed to guide you through this important season of preparation.
The Road to Bethlehem includes: • daily Advent reflections by Dr. Tim Gray; • weekly videos, audio talks, and book excerpts on FORMED related to the weekly theme; • email reminders every morning; • Brother Francis Advent reflections for kids; and • a weekly action item to help you put the Advent message into practice.
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Joy isn’t found in the places where most people would think to look. Joy doesn’t depend on a change in your circumstances, but a change in YOU.
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Here are some Advent traditions to start with your family:
Reverse Advent Calendar
Advent calendars, especially ones with religious themes, are a great way to introduce children to the concept of waiting. Some can be refilled from year to year, some are designed to be opened just for one Advent season, and others incorporate Scripture to reflect upon a particular part of the Christian story. Choose one that will help you to speak to your children about Advent and one that can become a part of your family traditions.
Advent angelscan be another simple tradition to encourage children to pray for one another. Each person in your house secretly chooses the name of someone within the family (or outside of the family) to pray for. You can also incorporate random acts of kindness into this activity. Family members only reveal their identity to each other on Christmas morning. Some families incorporate a guessing game in which family members are given clues and they try to guess which person is their Advent angel. If you have small children in your family, consider purchasing or making a small doll (an Advent angel) for your children. It is the job of the Advent angel to guide the child towards Christmas. Each night a Scripture passage is read and the family gathers to talk about what their Advent angel has shown them that day about Christ.
A conversation jarwith several questions can also be a great way for family members to talk about Advent, especially if there are middle- or high-school children in the family. Ideas for questions include:
Where did I see God today in my family, at school, in the community?
What did I do today to be Christ to someone?
Was there anything that happened to me that I would like to talk about?
How can I make tomorrow better than today?
What am I most thankful for in this present moment?
Scripture quotes can be added as appropriate with some simple sharing around the table.
Reverse Advent Calendarthis idea has been floating around social media sites for the past couple of years, its general idea is to add something or thingS to a basket/box each day of advent and then donating the box of goodies to a local charity. So you could put food items and donate to the food pantry or toiletry items and donate it to the homeless shelter or toys and donate it to agency collecting toys or clothes .. the list can go on and on. But the idea is to think about your surplus and blessings and to be thankful and bless others as well.
Advent Puzzle, start a puzzle at the beginning of Advent with the goal to have it completed by Christmas. This is a fun tradition that can lend itself for silent reflection, simple conversation, a break from a stressful day or homework and is just a simple addition to the season. The last piece placed in the puzzle then can be dated and signed by the placer.
Regardless of what tradition your family engages in, it is important to set aside regular time during the Advent season as a family to talk about Advent.
Shepherd on the Serch
Mary on the Mantle
Star from Afar
Embark on a family journey and find Christ in Christmas!
During the Advent season, begin reading the story of your shepherd's timeless journey in a beautifully illustrated interactive children's book, and let the fun begin every day as you hide your shepherd and your children find him in a new place along the search!
The shepherd's journey begins anew every Christmas season and ends on Christmas day as your shepherd finds his way to the manger. Make meaningful Christmas memories, as year after year your family delights in helping your cuddly shepherd retell the timeless story- that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas.
When you share photos and updates on your shepherd on our Facebook page or your own social media sites use the hashtags: #SHEPHERDONTHESEARCH and #Advent2020StLeosGI
Gather the family! Snuggle up with this timeless book that will create memories for years to come!! It’s a tale of the journey one small shepherd took to find the TRUE meaning of Christmas. As your shepherd embarks on his Quest, your little ones will learn about God’s great love for us when he sent his son Jesus into this world to save us!
By advent cards, the shepherd is led; each day a new verse from God’s word to be read. It’s also a clue of his journey ahead and a message of joy and good news to be spread!
Write out the Christmas story day by day The story of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2 stretches from verse 1 to verse 20. To meditate on the narrative bit by bit, try writing down one verse each day of December until Christmas Eve (with a built-in four days “off” because, let’s be honest, Advent season can get chaotic with a capital C). You can do this in a special place, like a poster hung in your kitchen or in your journal. Each day, take a few moments to ponder the verse you’ve written. By Christmas Eve, you’ll have savored the whole story of Jesus’ birth.
Another Luke Challenge is to read the ENTIRE Book of Luke through Advent. There are 24 chapters in in Luke, if you were to read one chapter a day starting December 1st, you would have the entire Gospel of Luke read by Christmas Day.
An amazing web guy (and father of four) came to a zoom meeting a few weeks ago and said “What if Mary replaced the Elf on the Shelf???” And from there this team started having so much fun brainstorming what they now call Mary on the Mantle.
Every day of Advent Mary is found around the house “nesting” to prepare for her baby. Cleaning, doing laundry, prepping the Advent wreath, maybe visiting Elizabeth, putting her swollen feet up, riding a donkey (or a zebra if that’s all you have) researching a route to Bethlehem.
Each day, she has a special message for the children who find her in the little tote bag that comes with the Marydolls. The note has a suggestion for an act of kindness that helps children prepare for Jesus’s birth. Things like calling grandparents, going through toys and clothes to donate to children in need, reading to a sibling, etc. You can choose things that are age appropriate and work for your family.
You can even make Mary’s belly grow by adding some paper towels or fabric under her dress .
We have tons of ideas on the blog to make this simple and fun for you AND we’d love to give the community ideas. https://beaheart.com/blogs/blog/mary-on-the-mantel Share photos and adventures on our Facebook page and use the hashtag #maryonthemantle and #Advent2020StLeosGI !
Follow the Star*The Star From Afar is a family tradition the celebrates the true meaning of Christmas. This item comes with a hard cover book, a 14 piece colorful wooden nativity set, and wooden star. This fun hide-n-seek game encourages children to go on a hunt for their Star, similar to that of the Wise Men. Every night the Star is hidden in the child’s home.The next morning the child will search high and low until they locate it. Once they have found their Star they move all Three Wise Men to the star’s location. The will repeat this over and over again until Christmas morning when the star will be found on top of the stable above baby Jesus!
Our digital twist on the traditional Advent calendar brings a sense of surprise by showing you the whole calendar, but not letting you “open” each day and find out what’s behind the picture until that day comes along. Each day, the link will lead you to a special Advent-themed Daily Jolt and MicroChallenge.
Don’t miss the opportunity to make this your best Advent (and Christmas) ever. Sign up today! It’s simple, and the only cost is your commitment to live better each day during Advent. Are you ready?
We prepare for everything we consider important in life, and that includes Christmas. We shop for gifts, bake cookies, decorate our trees, and visit family and friends until we’re ready to drop. Best Advent Ever is a free email program that will help you prepare for Christmas in a different way. Beginning the first Sunday of Advent (November 29th) and continuing every day until December 26, you’ll receive short inspirational videos, practical tips, or free Christmas music that will help you slow down during the busy Christmas season to focus on what’s really important in life.
USCCB Advent resources: The USCCB’s resources include family blessings for Advent wreaths and Christmas trees, lectio divina handouts, and a family Advent calendar with suggested daily activities. Go to https://rb.gy/yd6dqf
Arts & Faith: Loyola Press’ Arts & Faith series features short video reflections on works of art appropriate to the liturgical season. They are perfect for use in catechetical classes or sharing on parish social media sites. Try CATmag.us/2eHuS6r
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