Now that Advent has arrived, here are some ideas for Advent activities for the family.

  1. Light an Advent wreath and pray each day.
  2. Stuff shoes for St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6). Have the children put their shoes out, tell them the story of St. Nicholas, fill the shoes with goodies.
  3. Sing Christmas songs.Stick with the ones you know the words to and choose religious ones like Away in a Manger, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, etc. If you only know the first verse, just sing it several times in a row. Whether you’re in the car or snuggled up in the living room just go for it; the children will love it even if you’re not a good singer.
  4. Celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12) or St. Juan Diego (Dec. 9) by eating Mexican food for dinner. If you have a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, set her on the table as a centerpiece.
  5. On St. Lucia (Lucy)’s feast day, Dec. 13 drive around and look at Christmas lights.This tradition began because her name means “light.” What a fun and easy way to celebrate this great feast day.
  6. Set up a nativity set.Put it front and center in your home; however, since we celebrate Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25, keep that piece hidden until the celebration of His birth then put it in the nativity scene.
  7. Attend confession as a family. A lot of churches have a big confession service during Advent. This is a great way to prepare for the coming of our Savior.
  8. Pray the  Andrew Christmas Novena with your family. This is a beautiful tradition. You can add it to your daily prayers or do this in place of your current family prayers during the Advent season.
  9. Remember those who are in need (of friendship, food and spiritual love).  An act of kindness not only helps someone else, but brings us closer to our Father in heaven.  Set up a box and to it daily with foods or personal products that can be taken to a homeless shelter, the food cupboard for the community or a women’s shelter.  Write Christmas cards to the children at Kern Hattin Home in Westminster or to your local residential care facility.  Have each family member smile to at least five people every day during Advent, and each night share how those smiles were received.