Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the 4 weeks of advent

This year we've started a new tradition - the four candles of advent!

Admittedly we've probably divorced it from it's original meaning, but so have many xmas customs, so i figure our focus is more about acquiring & adapting customs to create our own xmas traditions!

and i like this one more than the chocolate filled advent calendars available in chain stores ;-)

Each sunday (or in our accidental case - tuesday, monday, then finally a sunday, luckily the kids don't keep track of the days very well yet!) of the four weeks prior to xmas, you light another candle, and that candle is representative of an aspect of our world...

The first week of advent
"The first light of advent (as we light the first candle)
Is the light of the stones
Stones that live in crystals
Seashells and bones."

and the children decorate around the candle with crystals etc that they have chosen...
(i take issue with shells being stones & not beasts, but hey)

The second week of advent
"The first light of advent.. (etc etc while lighting the first candle)

The second light of advent, (lighting the 2nd candle)
Is the light of plants.
Plants reach up to the sun
And in the breezes dance."

and add some leaves & flowers picked from our garden

the third week of advent
"The first light... (as before)
The 2nd light... (as before)

The third light of advent (lighting the 3rd candle)
Is the light of beasts
The light of hope that we may see
In greatest and in least"

and the kids choose a sandstone animal (or whatever you have to hand of course) to place under the candle..

then the forth verse for the fourth week is
"The fourth light of Advent,
It is the light of man.
The light of love, the light of thought,
To give and understand."

and i've still got to find something suitable for that ;-)

and then on xmas eve we have a rainbow candle, that lexi dipped, to light as well to finish it off!

we also do a little xmas countdown with little activities planned for some of the days ie-
going to carols or a santa parade
this year we're visiting a nativity drive-through play, the telecom tree, a xmas storytime at the library, and our city's famous street of decorated houses...
crafty stuff like making paper chains, xmas biscuits, felt holly crowns, printed wrapping paper & cards etc etc..

what do you do in the lead up to xmas?

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