Preparing for Advent: Advent Wreaths, Jesse Trees and Other Ideas

by Josée

People are already counting down the days until Christmas. As of today, there are 46 days left. It’s coming quickly, which means Advent is just around the corner. November 27th marks the first day of Advent, that’s only 19 days away!

Advent takes place during the four weeks preceding Christmas. During these weeks, we are called to prepare and anticipate the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. There are many different ways to observe Advent. For inspiration I’ve linked to various Advent traditions, recipes, and crafts in this post. If I’ve missed a particular Advent tradition that you observe feel free to post about it below.

One of the most common ways to observe Advent is to use an Advent wreath, a circular wreath made of evergreens with four candles (three purple, one pink). The Advent wreath has pre-Christian origins. It was used to celebrate the return of the sun after winter solstice. For Christians, the Advent wreath represented the coming of Jesus, the light of the world.

Learn How to Make Your Own Advent Wreath.

Try teaching your kids about the Advent wreath by making Edible Advent Wreath for Kids.

If you are looking for a toddler friendly Advent wreath consider purchasing or making a felt or fabric Advent wreath (one option) (another option).

Here are some simple Advent wreath prayers (scroll to pages 2-3).

The Jesse Tree is a fun way for children (and adults) to prepare for Christmas. A couple years ago I was crazy enough to make a Jesse tree and all the ornaments by hand. It took me a long time but I love them. There are many different ways for making a Jesse tree.

You can buy a Jesse Tree kit or make your own out of felt.

Or you can host a Jesse Tree craft swap.

A simpler option would be to download and print some free Jesse Tree paper ornaments and hang them on some branches. Paper Dali has printable ornaments here.

For more ideas on how you can observe Advent check out some blogs. Jessica over at Shower of Roses has compiled a list of Advent Activities which is worth checking out. She also has great list of Advent and Christmas books. Catholic Icing also has some suggestions to kick-off Advent. And for Advent inspired recipes check out Catholic Cuisine.

Phew! So hopefully that gets you inspired and thinking about Advent.

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Elisa November 12, 2011 - 9:25 pm

This is great list, Josee. Thanks for writing it up.

Josée November 13, 2011 - 12:41 am

Thanks Elisa 🙂 I'm glad you found it helpful.


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