SummaryElizabeth Turajski takes the stress out of Advent projects with her favorite non-artistic ways to celebrate the season with her kids. Glue gun not required!
It’s that time of year again.
That time of year in which Catholic Mom blogs and Pinterest boards fill with a vast array of handcrafted Advent projects.
These projects look very impressive and teach meaningful lessons about Advent in a way children can understand. But these projects are so ornate and delicate that my kids would destroy them in 0.376 seconds. Such projects require so many supplies and so much prep time that it would be Lent before we finally finish.
Attempting such involved art projects is something I find very stressful. Instead, I prefer to focus on doing fun family activities while learning about and praying throughout the season. I have gathered together a list of low-key activities that enhance my family’s Advent season — no hot glue gun required.
Jesse Tree on the Wall
Jesse trees are an artistic way of expressing Jesus’ family tree. A quick Google search can demonstrate just how complex some Jesse trees can be. I like the idea of the Jesse tree, so to make it manageable, I decided to make a large paper tree.
I then printed off the symbols that belong on the Jesse tree and had the kids color them. Then, we glued them onto the tree. Now that we have already made the tree, I hang it up every year around Advent.
Story a Day
Over a few years, I scoured used bookstores and Amazon for quality Advent and Christmas books. I eventually built my collection up to around 30 books!
Every year, I wrap them up like presents and have the kids take turns unwrapping one each day starting December 1st.
We read one story a day until Christmas. My kids love this tradition, not only because they get to listen to books they enjoy, but also because they forget about the books each year and are excited and surprised when they open the packages.
Store Bought Advent Calendars
I like the religious Advent calendars with pictures of the nativity scene and Gospel passages for each day, but my kids notice and gravitate towards the candy-filled Advent calendars that appear in stores starting in October.
I don’t want to tell them they cannot have the chocolate-filled calendars because I don’t want family religious devotions to feel like punishments. For a happy medium, I let them each have a chocolate calendar, but before they can open it each day, they take turns opening the Catholic calendar and reading aloud the passage from it.
Last year, my then two-year-old asked for his calendar most mornings when he woke up.
Sunday Advent Ceremonies
I bought a nice, small wooden Advent wreath. At the beginning of each Advent, I send the kids out to get evergreen branches from our back yard. Then, I wrap them around the base of the wreath and add candles in the top portion. Every Sunday evening of the season, we light the candles and my husband reads a passage from the Gospel or says an Advent prayer.
I hope these ideas inspire other non-artistic Catholic homeschooling moms not to be intimidated by overwhelming craft projects.
After all, homeschooling moms have to do enough on a daily basis — Advent should be a time of rest as we await the birth of Jesus.
Homeschooling moms, what your family’s Advent traditions?