Thursday, December 06, 2007

A forgotten family tradition


When I was growing up my mom always did an amazing job of teaching us the true meaning of Christmas. We celebrated a Catholic tradition called Advent. I honestly didn't even know that this was a Catholic tradition (although it makes since, because we were) until starting to research Advent on the internet.

Advent is a lot like lent (the 40 days before Easter). It is a time for reflection and for me, really makes you stop focusing on all the commercial aspects of Christmas and appreciate the true meanings.

If you want more information on lent there are tons of websites, a couple that I found are:


http://www.spirithome.com/advent.html#meaning

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

What we did as a family was so special! we had a wreath with 5 candles. One candle for each week in december and on for Christmas Eve. Every night we would light the candle, read a devotion relating to the Christmas story, and sing songs! It was an awesome time for us!

I remember when I was taking piano lessons I would even try to play the song on the piano as the family sang!

As we got older we would only do the devotions once a week, until finally we were too old to do the tradition at all, but I am so proud of my mom for making Christmas so meaningful!

My brothers and I truly understood why we were celebrating. I remember that the nativity scene was always really special to unpack. We would even put the wisemen far away (because they had to travel to see Jesus you know!) and we would move them a little closer everyday.

Another tradition in Advent is to Celebrate St. Nicholas day. This was my favorite! He was a saint in the Catholic tradition who had an amazing spirit of giving. our tradition (when my mom remembered!) was to put our shoes outside of our bedroom door and we would wake up to a few treats in our shoes! SO CUTE! Happy St. Nicholas' day! (December 6)

more information on this tradition:

http://www.wf-f.org/st.nicholas.html


I hope that I can take the commercialism out of Christmas for my children. I really want this time of the year to be so special to them, not because they get a bunch of presents! but because they get to make decorations, sings tons of fun songs, make presents for loved ones, and feel special. presents only last a short time (with kids!!!) but their memories are going to last them a very long time and I want those to be ones filled with wonderful times, and special traditions like mine are.

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