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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Preparing for Advent – One Week at a Time – Week Four


A collection of timely crafts, books, and activities for Advent, in weekly snippets, can help families welcome the Christ Child into their hearts and homes.

If you have been following these weekly articles, you know that helping families enrich their Advent experience is very dear to me.

Next week, we will enter the Fourth Week of Advent, and celebrate our last Sunday before the Christ Child’s arrival. It’s a time of thoughtfulness as we approach the Vigil of Our Lord’s Nativity.

While this article focuses on the Fourth Week of Advent, you can read a longer version of this article here with 200 ideas for the entire Advent season. You will find a link at the end of that article to download a printable version. Seton Home Study School also has copies available through its book store.

We hope these week-sized snippets of ideas, released a week before their respective time on the Advent calendar, will help enrich your family’s observance. It’s a busy time of the year; hopefully, the bit of advance notice will provide you time to prepare.

We would love to see photos of how you have used these ideas! Email photos to

December 22nd – Traditional Day of penance and fasting

Go to confession.

Have a simple soup supper.

December 24rd – The Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

After midnight enthrone the Infant Jesus in the bed of hay made by sacrifices and good deeds.

Light the Christ Candle in the Advent wreath.

Light candles around the Nativity set.

Read Luke 2:10-14.

Look at the night sky, imagine what it was like that night when the angels appeared to the shepherds and heaven and nature sang.

Watch The Little Drummer Boy.

Read Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol together as a family.

Watch one Christmas movie per week, have popcorn and hot cocoa.

Watch some Bass and Rankin Christmas specials (The Year Without a Santa Claus, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, etc.).

Collect all of the greeting cards you receive and put them in a basket. Throughout the year, as a family, pray for all of the senders.

On Christmas Eve, delivering a basket of muffins and jams to neighbors for their Christmas morning.

Week 4 (O Antiphons, Gaudete, Christmas Eve)

The Night Before Christmas, Edited by Spirin
The Night Before Christmas, Edited by Brett
The Shortest Day, Pfeffer (solstice)
The Christmas Baby, Bauer
Home for Christmas, Brett
Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing, Welborn
The Christmas Candle, Collins
Santa and the Christ Child, Bakewell
The Nativity (pop-up book), Crespi
The Last Straw, Thury

Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord

The Christmas Baby, Bauer
The Stable Where Jesus Was Born, Greene
The First Night, Hennessy
Stable in Bethlehem, Hulme
The Story of Christmas told from the Gospels, illustrated by Jane R.
The Christmas Story, Sabuda
Angela and the Baby Jesus, McCourt

About Mary Ellen Barrett

Mother of seven children and two in heaven, Mary is wife to David and a lifelong New Yorker. She has homeschooled her children for eleven years using Seton and an enormous amount of books. She is a columnist for The Long Island Catholic and blogs here . Meet Mary Ellen.
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