Our Plans for Advent…

by | Nov 29, 2009 | Advent and Christmas, Feast Day Plans, Liturgical Year | 11 comments

… in addition to welcoming our own new little baby at some point!!

Hummm… I wonder just how many of these “plans” I’ll be able to pull off! I tried to keep them fairly simple, without adding too many new activities, but I guess we will see!! Yesterday we pulled out all of our Advent Decorations, and (hubby and the boys) moved around the furniture in the living room to make room for our Christmas tree later in December. It’s all so exciting! I just love Advent, don’t you!?!

~ Around our Home ~
Advent Wreath and Prayers – This Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, we will begin lighting our wreath every evening for dinner and family prayers, including St. Andrew’s Christmas Novena. On Christmas we will replace the four Advent Candles with our white Christ Candle (which we will make on the feast of St. Ambrose, to cover on the feast of the Immaculate Conception the next day). I’ve posted the Advent Wreath prayers we use here.

**photos from past years
Candles in the Window – All during Advent through Christmas Eve.

“The candle in the window, still a favorite traditional Irish Christmas decoration, it harkens back to that ancient Christmas Eve, when Mary and Joseph could find no shelter. It is a symbol of Irish hospitality, their way of welcoming Mary and Joseph…and any travelers who might happen to pass by looking for a warm place to stay.

In the days when it was illegal (and dangerous) to practice the Catholic faith in Ireland because of the oppressive Penal Laws, the candle in the window of Irish homes at Christmas also signaled traveling priests that this was a home where they would be welcome and where they could safely conduct the traditional Irish Catholic Christmas Mass.” Source

Advent Calendars – This is our favorite. I also purchased one Catholic Child had on clearance to add to our collection this year.

The Jesse Tree – In the past I have compiled posts with the readings and coloring pages for each day of Advent. This year, I happily signed my children up for Holy Heroes Advent Adventure! It should be fun!! I am also planning to incorporate a Jesse “Tea” at some point, thanks to Alice’s creativity!

A Nativity Set – Each Sunday, during Advent, we add a few figures to the set leading up to the addition of Baby Jesus on Christmas. The Wise men follow on the feast of Epiphany, as they slowly make their way across the room!

Baskets of Books – I just finished filling up a couple baskets with all of our Christmas Books! We will read one or two each day during the Advent and Christmas Season. In addition to the new books for the feast of St. Nicholas this year, I also purchased an Advent Storybook and Destination: Bethlehem to read each night at bedtime. Elizabeth also mailed me the most precious book ever!! It is all about a family Waiting for Noel, their new baby which ends up being born on Christmas! It is such a perfect addition to our Advent reading this year!!!!

~ Special Days During Advent ~

November 29th, First Sunday of Advent “Stir-Up” Sunday:

In addition to beginning all our Advent Traditions, I’m thinking we will be stirring up some yummy treat to save for Christmas, though probably not Plum Pudding… Perhaps the Chocolate Coconut Balls we made last year!

December 3rd, St. Francis Xavier:

In the morning, we will pray the Litany of St. Francis Xavier and then read page 20 of More Saints Lives and Illuminations. In the afternoon, I will let the kids watch Francis Xavier and the Samurai’s Lost Treasure by CCC. I don’t know if we will get to it or not, but we may try to make some St. Francis Xavier Ornaments as well.

Last year, for dinner, I made Xaver Suppe, but this year hubby has requested Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs), Spanish Rice, and Flan. I’ve never made Albondigas before, so it should be interesting! Also, since St. Francis Xavier is most often pictured holding a cross, I think I will either make the flan in a cross shape, or add a whip cream cross to the top.

December 6th, St. Nicholas:

I’ve already shared our plans for this year. I am hoping that most of our preparations for this feast will take place the week before, during “N” week! 😉

December 7th, St. Ambrose:

Since St. Ambrose is the Patron Saint of Candlemakers, we usually decorate our Christ Candle on his feast day. In the past we’ve just decorated a tall white candle with decorating wax or candle pens. This year, inspired by Jen, I am hoping to carve a little niche out of the base for a wax baby jesus figure.

For an afternoon snack I plan on serving tea with Honey Stix and a tray of Baklava I just picked up at Costco. We will also read the story of St. Ambrose on pages 5-11 Once upon a Time Saints.

For dinner I plan to serve Honey-Curry Chicken, one of our favorites!

December 8th, The Immaculate Conception:

Today after Mass, we will come home for a yummy breakfast of Blueberry Muffins and White Hot Cocoa. We will drape a Blue Cloth, or tie a blue ribbon, around the Christ Candle we decorated the day before, in honor of the Blessed Mother. On Christmas Eve the cloth comes off and reveals Christ. This candle then takes the place of the Advent Candles for the Christmas Season.

We will also read about The Immaculate Conception.

One of the special treats for the day is gingerbread… It is baked on this day because it reminds us of the passage in the Book of Sirach, 24:20-21 that describes Mary smelling like spices:

I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon and aromatical balm; I yielded a sweet odor like the best myrrh; and I perfumed my dwelling as store, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odor is as the purest balm.

This year I thought it would be fun to bake and decorate a Gingerbread Nativity Scene using a Nativity Cookie Cutter Set.

December 9th, St. Juan Diego:

We will read page 19 of More Saints Lives and Illuminations and Our Lady of Guadalupe by Father Lovasik. (I still can’t believe you can purchase a 10 pack of these books for only $1.50!!!) Then we will listen to Fresh Flowers in Winter: The story of Saint Juan Diego by Glory Stories while the children make St. Juan Diego Paper Dolls, and perhaps tilmas!

Since I have other plans for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we will have our Mexican Fiesta for dinner on this feast day!

December 10th, Our Lady of Loreto:

We usually pray the Litany of Loreto as a family and I pint out an online crossword of the Marian Titles from the Litany of Loreto. I’ve always loved Alice’s idea to decorate a House of Loreto (using the Wilton Stand Up House Pan) for this feast, but I don’t think this is the year to start… We’ll see!

December 12th, The Christmas Rose Novena:
You can pray a novena to St. Therese at anytime, and there are a number to choose from, but one of my favorites is the Christmas Rose Novena which is prayed beginning on the 12th (12 days before Christmas), for 12 days, 12 times per day, to honor the 12 years of Christ’s childhood.

December 12th, Our Lady of Guadalupe:

I am hoping to be able to have another of Alice’s lovely Liturgical Teas in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They are just so much fun! And, of course, we will also read The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola.

December 13th, St. Lucy:

The girls have already started making their St. Lucy Crowns for this year. If possible I am hoping to bake another Saint Lucia Bread, but it that doesn’t work out, I may resort to round donuts with candles instead. We’ll see how the month goes!

The girls are loving their St. Lucy paper dolls from “L” week, and I saved Charlottes St. Lucia and Star Boy Coloring Page for this feast.

We always read Hanna’s Christmas (I was so excited to find a copy for our own collection this year!), and I also ordered Lucia, Saint of Light, which I am hoping arrives by December 13th!

O Antiphons, December 17th through 23rd – You can see my old O Antiphon posts here, though I am almost done with a post with this years plans. I also have “plans” to finish our O Antiphon House… lol! I think I will wrap up this post right now, and just finish it… I only have a few hours left to get it done before Advent begins!

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires. (Mention your intentions here) Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother. Amen.

Say 15 times a day from St. Andrew’s Day (30 November), ending on Christmas Eve


  1. Robina

    Wonderful plans. Last year I used a combination of your list of readings for the Jesse Tree and another site, but with my new Jesse Tree set of ornaments, neither worked out perfectly. So I had to put together my own list to coordinate with Advent this year which was pretty time consuming. I used many of your coloring pages links though, so thank you. I wish I could do the Christmas window lights but between the cats and a little toddler, I don't think it would be very successful. Have a great Advent.

  2. Lenetta

    Wonderful, wonderful resource!! I linked to you on my weekly roundup (post is here) – Advent is such a blessed time of year! Thanks so much –

  3. Emma

    How much fun and inspiring joy for your little ones,and for Mommy to!
    I am so happy to learn about The Christmas Rose Novena ,that i did not knew about.
    I t will be perfect to start before our St.Lucia celebration ,witch is as you probably know,very big here in Scandinavia.
    Let me know if you would like the recipe for the traditional Lucia buns ,or any thing else from this beautiful Saint celebration.
    Have a blessed week !

  4. Katy

    So it was your blog where I found the recipe for the chocolate coconut candy! I made them and they were so delicious! I am definitely making them again this year. I love seeing all your Advent plans!

  5. Erin

    I wrote up an Advent plans post on my blog too… doesn't it just make you feel so much more organized to have it all laid out, complete with links? Plus it will be helpful to look back at next year when planning for Advent again!

    Honey-curry chicken sounds very yummy!! If you have a chance to share the recipe, I would love it!

  6. Anonymous

    wow!! You guys are really on the ball with all the feasts. Good inspirations for me again!!

    We do St. Nicholaus, Immacualte conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe (of course) and Christmas…and I thought I was busy!

  7. Anonymous

    Sorry it took me so long to get this to you, but I hope you enjoy the recipe.

    Rose Petal Pound Cake
    Oven- 325 Bake Time- 50-55 minutes

    Grease and flour 9 in. bundt pan.
    Beat 1 c. unsalted butter and 1 c. sugar together until fluffy.
    Beat in 6 eggs 1 at a time.
    Add 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. grated lemon peel, and 5 drops red food coloring (optional).
    Sift together 2 c. all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp. baking powder.
    Add to wet mixture.
    Stir in 1/4 c. cleaned rose petals, minced. (Remove pistals and stamens first.)
    Bake at 325 for 50-55 minutes.

    I haven't tried it out myself yet, but if you do before me then let me know how it is. =)

    Here is another recipe from the same old magazine. I thought you would like it for your Little Flowers.

    Flower Sugar
    2 cups sugar
    1/2 to 1 c. flower petals, minced*

    * Violets, lavendar, roses, orange peel, honeysuckle, or other edible flowers can be used.

    Pulse sugar and flowers in blender or food processor. Store in airtight jar for at least a week. Strain through wire mesh before using if desired.

    Sprinkle on cookies, cakes, or strawberries.

  8. Jessica Gordon

    Robina ~ I don't know about pets, but my toddlers have never bothered with the candles in the window. They are electric too, and just plug in, so they are not much different than a lamp. I'm glad you were able to find coloring pages! It is very time consuming isn't it!! The first year I did that, their weren't that many and I searched for hours (days?!) lol!

    This year I gave my boys each a coloring book (which I ordered a little too late to use with Ancient History Last year) called Let's Journey Through the Bible since they were all still asking to color the coordinating pages. I'll just print ones out for the girls. I hope you have a wonderful Advent!!

    Lenetta ~ Thank you for the link!

    Emma ~ I've been meaning to email you and thank you for the kind emails! I will soon! As for the recipes, if you happen to have a favorite (and any pictures?!) I'd love to post it at Catholic Cuisine!

    Katy ~ Aren't they just the BEST!?!?! But then, chocolate with coconut is one of my favorites! =)

    Erin ~ It does! I have some posts fairly similar to this one in my archives, but it was nice to combine the info and update with this years changes to finish organizing my thoughts =) As for the Honey-Curry Chicken, I will be posting it at Catholic Cuisine soon! It is really easy and very yummy!

    Josette ~ December is such a fun month for feast day celebrations around here. A few years back we started modifying our school schedule to make more time in December for all the wonderful feasts! I am hoping that this will be our last week of full time school until next year.

    Natalie ~ Thank you so much for the recipes! I look forward to trying them.

    I hope you all have a very Blessed Advent!

  9. Renee

    Great post! Everything with links is right here. I'm off to share this one now, with thanks. :))

  10. Sarah

    Though we're on a diet, I think we're going to have to make those chocolate coconut balls again, they are my favorite!! I'm so glad you and your family love them too!


  11. Anonymous

    Ah, This is perfect! Clarifies
    some contradictions I've heard


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