- Lighting candles on an Advent wreath is a traditional way to mark the weeks of Advent.
- Information on Advent Wreaths here.
- Blessing of an Advent Wreath/Prayer for Lighting the Candles.
- Advent Wreaths 101 on Catholic Icing (includes ideas for where to buy one and different DIY crafts to make one at home)
- Advent calendars are used to count down the days until Christmas. Many include daily activity and prayer suggestions that can help us prepare spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.
- There are a variety of Advent calendars on our Advent Calendars page.
- The Jesse Tree is an Advent activity that traces salvation history from Creation through the Incarnation using Bible readings and ornaments featuring associated traditional symbols, one for each day of Advent.
- Print-your-own ornaments kit from Catholic Icing. (Purchase for a small fee.)
- Pre-printed ornaments kit from The Catholic Company. and more substantial versions (and here) from Studio Senn.
- Free printable ornaments which also uses the Jesus Storybook Bible as the accompanying story each day.
- Preparing the manger is the practice of making a soft bed in the manger for Jesus by using pieces of straw or hay as tokens of prayers and good works performed throughout the season of Advent.
- Catholic Culture has a deeper explanation of this tradition here.
- Directions for making a simple manger and baby Jesus doll on Catholic Icing.
- Catholic Icing also has a printable Nativity scene that can be used for this tradition.
- Advent is full of fantastic opportunities with deep traditions to celebrate the feasts in our Church’s Liturgical Calendar. These feasts include St. Nicholas Day on the 6th, St. Lucy on the 13th, and our Lady of Guadalupe on the 15th. See our Weekly Advent Faith at Home planner for details on how to add the many feast day traditions our faith holds to your family’s Advent plans.
Further discussion of these Advent traditions, plus more not covered here, and ideas for celebrating them can be found on Shower of Roses.
In Family Advent Customs (1954), Helen McLoughlin wrote:
“Advent is the beginning of the new liturgical year. It is a season of spiritual preparation, marked by eager longing for the coming of the Saviour through grace at Christmas, and for His second and final coming. It is also an ideal time to establish in our homes liturgical customs which will restore our children to Christ… Secularism has invaded our households. The Bishops of the United States (back in 1954) have warned us that “the Christian must make his home holy–the Christian must realize the Christian ideal.” ….. Children, who love the beauty and simplicity of family religious practices, make the traditions easy to establish. As a rule it is best to begin with one or two customs and add others in years to come.” (as quoted at Shower of Roses)