I really love Advent! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the tradition, in many Christian faiths the four weeks before Christmas are the season of Advent, the time to prepare for the coming of Jesus. One of my strong memories from my childhood was having family Advent devotions every evening. We had an Advent wreath of black wrought iron that held four candles, and lit one candle during the first week, two during the second week, and so on. We have carried on this tradition with our children, and no matter how busy the season is, we try to have devotions together every night.
Several years ago I found this wonderful ceramic Advent wreath on ebay:
(Take it from me, ebay can be VERY dangerous for someone who collects Nativity scenes as I do!)
We have a few books of Advent devotions that we use:
The Advent A to Z is wonderful for young children! Even though my girls are a bit old for it now, we still like the lessons in it. The Light in the Lantern is good for older children, its stories use alot of symbolism and folk tales.
The kids love this Advent calendar, and look forward to putting a figure up on the scene every evening after we have devotions.
Blue is the color symbolizing Advent, so this is the banner we hang out front during this season before Christmas:
Advent is a very special time in our home. What traditions are important to your family at the holiday season?