Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Kid-Friendly Advent Wreath

If you have never taken part in an Advent Wreath tradition, none of this will be a stretch for you. If you have, please know that my version of the tradition is not traditional in almost any way. If you want to stick with the traditional readings and candle colors, please do. I began this way of celebrating advent about 3 years ago, during my Man-Cub's second Christmas season. Back then, we could barely get him to sit still long enough to make it through the reading, but we persisted, and now he eagerly looks forward to Sunday evenings and the time to light (and blow out!) the candles. Now we are approaching our fourth advent season since we began doing the wreath and as soon as I pulled out the holiday decorations he was searching for the wreath and candles. That will warm a mama's heart!

The picture above is Man-Cub with the wreath last Christmas morning. I purchased the supplies to make the wreath at AC Moore Arts & Crafts, but almost any craft store should have the supplies needed. It consists of:
  • Wire wreath form with candle holders (check floral supplies aisle if not in the seasonal section)
  • Holiday decorative picks
  • 4 taper candles (I chose colors that coordinate with my decor)
  • 1 medium-large pillar candle for center of wreath

Each Sunday night after dinner we gather back at the family table and bring out the Bible and our Little People Nativity set as well as other props if applicable.

Click HERE for the weekly, kid-friendly readings.

Each week we light the candles from the week before, adding a new candle each week. We read and discuss the message in the reading and ask age-approriate questions to review. Then we take turns blowing out the candles.
On Christmas morning, after stockings are un-stuffed but before we begin opening gifts, we light all of the candles, including the big one in the middle. We keep all of the lights off so that the only glow comes from the 5 lit candles, and we read about how Jesus is the Light of the World. We finish this special time by singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and allowing the little ones to blow out the candles as if they were the candles on a birthday cake. 
This year, now that Man-Cub has become more contemplative, we plan to add one final question to finish our Advent celebration:
What birthday gift will you give to Jesus this year?

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