Advent: Prepare a way for the Lord - Catholic Courier

Advent: Prepare a way for the Lord

Advent is a wonderful time to form holiday traditions — to create memories, draw our family closer together and prepare a way for the Lord.

Our family enjoys making yuletide ornaments to hang on our tree. Once we glazed clay ornaments and fired them in a kiln; another year we arranged to blow our own glass ornaments. Over the years, we have helped our children start small collections of their own ornaments, so that one day they can take them to their own homes as decorations for their own family trees.

During Advent, we like to share a family night — with holiday crafts and games, and baking and decorating cookies. We also have made it an Advent tradition to work on a holiday puzzle as a family — keeping it in a central location where everyone works on it.

We enjoy playing seasonal music — blending a mix of everyone’s favorite carols. When our kids were younger, we would help them write "Dear Santa" letters and take them for mailing at the post office. It’s always fun to drive around the neighborhood to look at the festive lights and holiday displays.

Our kids enjoyed stringing together paper chains in red and green construction paper in the early days of Advent, then removing one link each day, to count down the days until Dec. 25. Another way to mark this sacred time is with Advent calendars with special treats for each day, to help build the excitement as the big day draws near.

We find it especially meaningful to keep a family Advent wreath on our dinner table, watching the flames grow brighter as we light another candle for each week of Advent. Our joy grows stronger as the radiance grows brighter, until the light of the Christ candle at last is lit on Christmas Day.

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