Our Traditional Catholic Family Advent Religious and Homeschool Plans for 2022

Want to see what resources we are using for planning our family Advent home activities this year? Watch and read on for my suggestions – a few are my own creations, others are created by some amazing families!

I’ll just come out and say it – I don’t think I’ve ever followed through on one thing in my entire life.

Homework, essays, lessons, performances, even novenas and the daily rosary – I’ve always struggled with executing my resolutions as I’ve planned.

Most of the time I lose focus and allow myself to get sucked into distractions that take away from my main goal.

But this Advent – armed with a few awesome planning resources, spiritual reading, a binder, some notebooks and a printer – I’m resolved to make it my best Advent yet!

A liturgical & spiritual family Advent planner

I love the fact that the liturgical year begins at a time when everything seems to be slowing down – leaves are falling, weather is getting colder, days have gotten shorter and yet the semester (for all you students/homeschoolers) is almost over. Advent marks this new beginning!

I knew that I needed to write my resolutions down properly, so I opted for Lena’s (@joyfilledfamily) Advent Planner.

It’s quite amazing – a “big picture” Advent plan, an examination, a weekly resolution tracker, a liturgical planner, a monthly calendar and family planner.

So excited to finally implement these activities now that my oldest are 4 years old! I must mention – she generously is offering this resource on a “pay what you can” basis, minimum is $0 (i.e. free). Thank you Lena!

An Advent planner with traditions and customs explained – with book recommendations for children!

I was excited when I got Jen Mackintosh’s Advent planner – it’s a very detailed history of customs familiar and not so familiar, a daily planner with customs already inserted to make it easier for you to track what happens when, and daily book recommendations so you know what to read to the little ones! Happy to support another traditional Catholic mom.

Traditional Catholic Advent family customs solidified

We decided on adding a few new things this year, but we hope to do the following:

Advent Calendar

We were given this beautiful, simple Advent Calendar/spiritual Christmas crib from another homeschooling traditional Catholic family. Dumb Ox publications has some GREAT activities for children. This will be our third Advent using it, the children really enjoy opening the flaps and reading the devotions. I believe this is actually taken from an old pre-Vatican II source as there is an older imprimatur.

Advent Wreath with Candles

I kept it simple this year, adding a purple ribbon to tie it in more with Advent than Christmas. The wreath I believe we got as a present, taper candles from Hobby Lobby.

St. Andrew Christmas Novena

This novena is incredibly special as it is the only one of its kind that – instead of the usual nine days of prayer – goes on for 25 days. It is said 15 times per day – it can be done consecutively, or you can break up the prayers through the day.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

Imprimatur + Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York, New York, FEbruary 6 1897

Using St. Therese’s idea for “sacrifice beads”, I DIYed these beautiful (yet plastic :/) beads I got from Hobby Lobby. I could have gone with wood, but the glitter was calling to me. My children LOVE it, it’s the perfect size for little hands and they love See the tutorial on my upcoming Youtube video.

Sacrifice manger

A time-tested tradition where children, after making a good act or sacrifice, get to put a piece of “straw” (we use that paper confetti stuff you get at the Dollar Tree) into the manger, while the goal is to make as many sacrifices as possible so the Christ Child will have a “soft” place to sleep through the night.

Jesse Tree

This is a solidly traditional Catholic Advent/Jesse Tree devotional for young children, also available through Joyfilled Family. We were going through the Baltimore Catechism the months previous, but we will completely replace that with this since this devotional includes passages from Scripture in terms that young children (my oldest are 4 now) can understand along with examples and anecdotes from the beloved Spirago Catechism. It also includes printable ornaments. I printed them and inserted each “ornament” into an Advent calendar box we were gifted. The children love opening a box each day and seeing with anticipation what story we get to read for that day! It sure beats stuffing them full of candy that’s got artificial colors 🙂

Christmas Tree (on final week of Advent)

It’s hard to find good Christmas trees close to the end of December but we prefer waiting than having our tree dry out and creating a fire hazard!

Stockings for St. Nicholas

We don’t do “Santa Claus”…at least not in the way the world does. Did you know Santa Claus came from the Dutch “Sinterklaas”, meaning “St. Nicholas”? Instead we tell our children that we hang our stockings up just to see what St. Nicholas might bring them on his feast day! We hang stockings on our fireplace mantle and fill them before Dec. 6 with cozy slippers and other cold weather accessories. We remember the story of St. Nicholas (a bishop from the 3rd century) taken from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

A citizen of Patara had lost all his money, and had moreover to support three daughters who could not find husbands because of their poverty ; so the wretched man was going to give them over to prostitution. This came to the ears of Nicholas, who thereupon took a bag of gold and, under cover of darkness, threw it in at the open window of the man’s house. Here was a dowry for the eldest girl, and she was soon duly married. At intervals Nicholas did the same for the second and third ; at the last time the father was on the watch, recognized his benefactor, and overwhelmed him with his gratitude.

I do not include the part about the prostitution for my young children (for obvious reasons), instead I say that the girls were going to be taken away, and that St. Nicholas saved them by putting some coins in their stockings.

Procession for Our Lady of Guadalupe

We love to sing to Our Lady of Guadalupe, I’ll be coming out with a video helping you celebrate it if you’re not Hispanic or Spanish speaking!

White Cake for the Immaculate Conception

This is a holy day of obligation, Dec. 8th. This will be the first year I try my hand at making a cake, but I thought the white would be beautiful to represent the stainless soul of Our Lady. Don’t forget the day before is traditionally a day of fast/abstinence, like any Friday throughout the year – two small collations, one meal, no meat the whole day.

Christmas Tree a week before Christmas!

We don’t like to get our tree too early to try and hold off on all the “Christmas-ing” everywhere, and also to prevent it from drying out and creating a fire hazard. I’m hoping to get it up after Advent IV.

Feast of the Holy Innocents, Dec. 28th – visit an abortion clinic!

I understand the idea of moms diligently doing their duty, quietly and away from the public eye – HOWEVER, how will the world be converted unless they see the goodness we are bringing my our own examples?? This is the time to be “radical” (that term is so overused) but truly, I would love to see more moms be present for these vulnerable young woman.

Religious presents for Epiphany, Jan. 6

We will be giving the children religious gifts on the day of Epiphany to celebrate the Three Wise Men coming to bring gifts to Our Lord.

Also to be done on Epiphany is the yearly Epiphany house blessing with chalk – see details here.

MUSIC

Watch the Youtube video above with timestamps where I talk about where our Christmas carols and beloved pieces actually come from!

And that just about wraps it up for our traditions this year! I’d love to know – what are your family’s traditions? Have you added new ones? God Bless you all!

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