Catholicism, Marriage

How We’re Celebrating Advent

December 3, 2013

Happy Advent!

I wanted to share some of our Advent traditions we are forming around the Teixeira home. I must tell you…it hasn’t been easy to choose these preparations. I tend to lean towards unleashing the Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, fire up the oven for baking Christmas goodies, decorating the whole house in lights and ornaments. Jonathan tends to lean towards actually waiting to celebrate Christmas until it’s Christmas and using Advent as a time to prepare for Christmas…crazy, right?!?! 

You can imagine our clash in preferences…but by golly, I must admit Jonathan is right on this one. It’s Advent…a season of preparation. Good marketing in the last 30 years has eradicated the culture’s perception on the liturgical season of Advent. People jump right from Thanksgiving into the flurry of  parties, music, baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, eating, and celebrating so much so they are burnt out once Christmas actually arrives. Many people wake up the day after Christmas ready to clean everything up, assess the damage on their credit cards, exchange unwanted items, and move on with life. They’ve already been celebrating Christmas for weeks by this point. Liturgically, this is just when the party should be getting started. 

So Jonathan and I struck a deal and decided to deck the house out Advent-style. We would put as much emphasis on Advent as the culture is trying to get us to prematurely put on Christmas. Check out some of the decorations.

We have a tree! It's complete with lights AND purple (color of Advent!) ornaments.

We have a tree! It’s complete with lights and purple (one of two Advent colors) ornaments.

A homeade Advent Wreath sits on our kitchen table now. Nearby are books we are using to pray nightly devotions and prayers.

A homeade Advent Wreath sits on our kitchen table. Nearby are books we are using to pray with. We chose a daily devotion filled with Mother Theresa reflections and the Christian Prayer booklet for Night Prayer.

 

Jonathan gets to light the candle AKA play with fire for a few minutes. This may or may not be his favorite part of the tradition.

Jonathan gets to light the candle AKA play with fire for a few minutes. This may or may not be his favorite part.

These are lavendar scented candles from Walmart. The pink one is Sweet Pea scented. There are WAY more sophisticated Advent Wreaths out there I suggest you copy. I am not the crafty type so this is what we’ve got folks. If you wander over to this blog you will see more skill, crafts, and ideas for making Advent something to get the kiddos engaged in and excited about.

For the music…the only song I know that is Advent approved is “O Come O Come Emmanuel” so I created a playlist on Spotify with 135 versions sung by different artists. If you know of any more, I would really appreciate it. The best versions I have found so far:

1. O Come O Come Emmanuel by The Piano Guys – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO7ySn-Swwc

2. O Come O Come Emmanuel by The Civil Wars – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiGyRAhpgQo

3. O Come O Come Emmanuel by Matt Maher – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlylvEkpJzw

4. O Come O Come Emmauel by Sufjan Stevens – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN3upltWtm0

5. O Come O Come Emmanuel by Shane and Shane – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIApy9rd7jw

Lastly, we dress in the corresponding candle color of the week to Sunday Mass, per Jonathan’s request (not an unusual request if you know my husband at all).  I couldn’t get a photo to turn out yesterday but I wore a purple scarf and Jonathan wore a purple shirt. We will continue this next week and the last week of Advent. On the third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete Sunday, we will show up wearing pink.

There you have it. What are your Advent traditions??? We’d love to hear them!

 

 

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4 Comments

  • Reply Becky Hensler December 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Jesse Tree. Most people think of this one as a great kid thing, and it is, but I think it’s highly underrated for adults. There are a million versions out there, some incorporate the O Antiphons when they come in at Mass, but I’m using one that is almost entirely people based. You read the passage for each day and hang an ornament, but the best part is sitting there and thinking about these amazing people who were in Jesus’ family tree. The broken, the sinner, the forgotten, the faithless all mixed blood with the courageous, the bold, the trusting, the penitent, and the pure. I try to imagine myself in each person’s shoes. “How would I have reacted if God had worked so directly in my life?” Followed quickly by, “Oh shoot! Has God acted directly in my life and I missed it?!”

    Anyway, I highly recommend this tradition. It satisfies my need to decorate, and also makes me take it slowly. Not to mention the fact that I get to pray scripture daily and my kids give me the time to do it! If you want my list just send me an e-mail and I’ll gladly pass it along. I did an ornament exchange with some ladies this year, so I’ve got everything ready. Good luck!

  • Reply Lisa Cotter December 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Just wanted to point out that Mary Clare intentionally wore purple to church on Sunday. When I asked her to change after mass she was reluctant, but then put on a purple shirt and jeans. Great post Amanda!

  • Reply Amanda December 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Becky – awesome suggestion!!! I will be emailing you soon!

    Lisa – I can definitely see Mary Clare doing this. How precious that she already has the desire so young to do the little things to enter into Advent! 🙂

  • Reply Roni December 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Oh Come Divine Messiah, On Jordan’s Bank, and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus are my other three Advent go-to songs. I’m with you, though, we need a longer playlist! 🙂

    Your Avila Sister,
    Roni

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