Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preparing Our Hearts and Home For Christmas, Part 1: Keeping Christmas Centered on Christ

Preparing Our Hearts and Homes For Christmas
As I looked at the calender today, I was a bit giddy noticing that Advent and Christmas will be upon us so soon. It is such a beautiful season. I have many plans this year to prepare our hearts and our home for Christmas. Over the next several weeks, I would like to share some of the celebrations, activities, prayers, projects, gifts, and food that I hope will make this season very memorable for our family. I will also include Thanksgiving in this series because I think having a thankful heart is a wonderful way to begin the season of Advent. We, as a family, want the days and weeks leading up to Christmas to be a time of reflection, prayer, calm, joy, peace , love, tradition, fun, and organization.

I have spent some time over the past few weeks thinking about how to celebrate and use tradition to keep our Christmas centered on Jesus.

I have made a commitment this year to make Advent something really special for my family each and every day before Christmas. We will have an Advent Wreath on our dining room table and have a few minutes of prayer each week as we light a candle.

Our theme for Advent will be The Fruit of the Spirit. The girls and I will be studying, reading, and doing activities to practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

We, of course, will attend weekly Mass as a family. I will also take my girls to Eucharistic Adoration a few times during the season. A few churches in the area have weekly Pray and Play Adoration where families with children can attend and a little noise is expected!

The girls will be reading and doing activities from Magnifikid. I will also be praying and studying with my Magnificat.

We will also participate together in a few service projects including making Thanksgiving placemats for the local soup kitchen, making a box for Operation Shoebox, purchasing a gift for a child from our church's Angel Tree, and Christmas caroling and visiting with residents of our local assisted living facility.

I am sure there will be a few more religious activities and outings in the coming weeks that I will share. I want to keep our celebrations and traditions simple and age-appropriate. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Preparing Our Hearts and Homes for Christmas: Organization!


  1. I was intrigues by the 'pray and play' in Adoration. Can you tell me more about this?

  2. A church we attend has pray and play where one hour of weekly Adoration is open to families with children. As I said, a little noise is expected! The church also opens the nursery so families can exchange babysitting if the kids need a little break. I brought my four girls and they prayed and looked at their picture bibles or other age appropriate religious materials. We sometimes can only stay 20-30 minutes but a little time is better than none at all! My 5 and 6 year old actually enjoyed the time of silence and prayer. My little ones looked at books and walked around a bit in the back. With a little patience and determination, I am hoping they will learn to enjoy a quiet hour with God!