Advent begins Dec 2

Advent 2018 Resources for the Family


 Advent Activities              Christmas Movies                Feast Days Dec 2-Dec 24

Note: We usually opt for "do-able" free (or cheap) and easy to plan and implement activities on our website.



Get Inspired
Celebrate Feast Days
Advent Calendars
  • Advent Chain - Make a chain out of construction paper.  Tear off one link a day, with a special Advent task i.e. "offer to set the table" or "pray for our military."

Jesse Tree


Advent Wreath

  • I always forget to buy the candles so it's OK to reuse last years.  
  • Coloring: If you don't get yours out of storage in time, kids can color one.  Another coloring page here. 
  • Prayers to say while lighting the candles.
  • Explanation - Evergreens in a circular wreath symbolize continuous life. Candles represent the "Light of Christ" that is coming. The three purple candles represent a time of prayer, sacrifice and penance, and the pink candle for rejoicing.  A more detailed history from Catholic Exchange.
  • Domestic Church Supply Company makes a lego advent wreath, $20
Read
  • Read aloud Jotham's Journey Advent Series - read a chapter a day during Advent, until Christmas.  The children will sneak and read ahead if you don't hide it.  Four books in the series, jives with scripture and the time period wonderfully.  And they all over-lap.  These four books include:  Jotham's Journey, Bartholomew's Passage, Tabitha's Travel's, and Ishtar's Odyssey.  Read one a year and with big families, when you finish all four you just start over.
  • Advent and Christmas with Tomie De Paola. Integrated Literature Unit for Advent, with a large family in mind.  If you don't do the unit study, just read his Christmas-themed books.
  • Wrap (in wrapping paper) an Advent / Winter / Holiday Book - one for each day, preferably in purple and read aloud one daily. You don't have to wrap if you don't have time - just put in a basket.
  • GREAT list of Christmas books from GoodBooksForCatholicKids.com 
Coloring 
Prayers
  • Pray the "Christmas Anticipation Prayer"starting on Nov. 30 until Christmas
    Beginning on St. Andrew the Apostle's feast day, November 30, the following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.
  • Dec 17-23 pray the "O Antiphons" of Advent  (Dates back to the very early church!) 
Music
Advent Angels
  • Advent Angel/Elf on the Shelf - a play on the "Elf on the Shelf" that gets moved around daily (Peanut Butter & Grace)
  • Advent Angels/Secret Santa - a play on "Secret Santa." Pick names, decorate a "mail box" (to be set on a table or hung outside their bedroom door) and daily (or so) Angels give gifts of prayer, sacrifice, candy or pennies to their family member.  Make little slips (or cut-out these) to indicate a prayer or sacrifice has been offered for family member.  Then for Christmas a gift is bought for your Advent Angel (don't have to buy one gift for every sibling and mom & dad.)
Explanations

  • Why don't we sing the Gloria? Don't forget to remind the children why we don't sing the Gloria at Mass during Advent. By reserving the Gloria for the festive season of Christmas, the liturgy emphasizes Advent’s character as a season of waiting with great expectation. By omitting the Gloria during Advent (the song of praise sung by the heavenly host) we long for the night of Christmas when we can sing the angels' song anew.
  • Gaudete Sunday? -3rd Sunday in Advent.
    -The name Guadete comes from the entrance antiphon of the Mass, which is: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near. " This is a quotation from Philippians 4:4-5, and in Latin, the first word of the antiphon is gaudete (Latin, “rejoice”; it's also pronounced with three syllables: gau-de-te).
    -At Mass, the liturgical color can be violet -OR- rose (pink)
    -Learn more from this National Catholic Register article
  • Why is there a pink candle? This goes along with the third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete Sunday, where the emphasis is "rejoice" and the color switches from purple to rose. Purple traditionally symbolizes penance, sacrifice, prayer.
    On the third Sunday in Advent, you could wear pink.

Other Great Activities / Ideas
  • Sign children up for Holy Heroes Advent Adventure - daily online videos with activities for kids.  Can purchase the supplemental activity book, but don't have to.
  • Give candy canes away to strangers with a smile.  Buy a stock of candy canes attach a tag with a Christmas Message, keep them in the car and share with folks at the grocery store, gas station, etc.  Jesus Poem Tags or Inspirational Sayings Tags
  • Operation Christmas Child - send a shoe-box full of goodies to children in poor parts of the world.   Have to get this done in November, because they ship late November/early December. Box Tags & Directions Here.
  • Give Away Day.  Before the Christmas gifts begin pouring in, have a day where kids go through all of their toys.  Allow them to keep three toy types (ie. BOYS: legos, dinosaurs, and cars or GIRLS: barbies, littlest pet shop and babies) and that everything else should be given away because there are children who many not have any toys at all. In the spirit of giving, like St. Nicholas (you could do this on his feast day, Dec. 6). Ask them to pick how many stuffed animals one child should be able to keep.
  • Order a Children's Little Advent Devotional (for ages 4-7) with coloring pages (63 pages). Download/Soft Cover - Order here.
  • Activity with your creche/manger set. Set Jesus on the other side of the room and inch/move him closer every day.
  • Checkout Catholic Icing for other crafty Advent & Christmas ideas
  • On the third Sunday in Advent, you could wear pink.
Other Books with resources & ideas:
Advent and Christmas with the Saints with Scripture, Thoughts and Prayers from the Saints.
Advent, Christmas and Epiphany in the Domestic Church (note: a new edition is available, but we've not tried that one.)

CHRISTMAS MOVIES - FREE - Some we have included coloring pages

A Christmas Carol (animated) 1971
A Christmas Carol(animated) 1997
Annabelle's Wish (animated) 1997
Barney Waiting For Santa
Frosty the Snowman                        -> Frosty Coloring Pages
Frosty's WinterWonderland
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
The Legend of the Three Trees (animated)
Miracle of 34th Street (1955)
Nativity Story for Kids (animated)
The NutcrackerPrince (1990)           -> Nutcracker Coloring Pages
The NutcrackerNYC Ballet
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) -> Rudolph Coloring Pages
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer The Movie (animated)
Santa Claus is Comingto Town
Scrooge 1951
Scrooge (musical) 1970
The Search forSanta Paws Disney 2010
Spot’s Magical Christmas                 -> Spot Coloring Page
T'was the NightBefore Christmas (animated) 1974
Veggie Tales A Meaningful Life -     > V. Tales Coloring Page
Veggie Tales St. Nick                        -> V. Tales Coloring Page
Veggie Tales The Toy that Saved Christmas -> V. Tales Coloring Page
Veggie Tales The Star of Christmas         -> V. Tales Coloring Page
The Walton'sChristmas Movie
Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too -> Pooh Coloring Pooh Coloring Pooh Coloring
Winnie the Pooh Super Sleuth Christmas Movie (newer/2007) Piglet Coloring

NEW YEAR:
Happy New Year Charlie Brown
Rudolph's ShinyNew Year
Winnie the Pooh A Very Pooh Year (newer/2002)


OTHER HOLIDAY MOVIES - NOT FREE
Veggie Tales Little Drummer Boy     -> V. Tales Coloring Page
Prancer (1989)
Home Alone
Holiday Inn
White CHristmas
A Christmas Story
The Grinch who Stole Christmas (animated)
Joyeux Noel (war)
Polar Express
The Little Drummer Boy (animated)
The Nativity
Santa Paws
Yes, Virginia
Elf
CCC-St. Nicholas
Bells of St. Mary's
Charlie Brown Christmas Coloring Page
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Veggie Tales Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas Coloring Page (kinda small)
Come to the Stable
The Fourth Wise Man
The Family Man (2000) PG 13
The Bishop's Wife

ADVENT SAINTS, FEASTS, HOLY DAYS

Feast Day
Person  / Event
Cent.
Resources
Apr 19
Dec 3
St. Emma d.1038
11
Coloring Page (Catholic Playground)
Dec 3
St. Francis Xavier  1506-1552
16
Coloring Page (Catholic Playground)
Vision Book: St. Francis and the Seven Seas
DVD CCC: Francis Xavier and the Samurai’s Lost Treasure
Book Footsteps of the Saints L1-2nd/3rd
Dec 4
St. Barbara ? -235
3
About/Video (Catholic Online)
Saint Fun Facts
Color (Catholic Playground)
Dec 4
St. John Damascene 676-749
8
Color (Catholic Playground)
ListeNAbout (Saint of the Day, Franc. Media)
Dec 6
St. Nicholas ?- 343
4
Color (SJTB)
Color (Coloring Saints)
Color (The Catholic Kid)
Coloring Page (Catholic Playground)
Dec 7
St. Ambrose 340-397
4
Coloring Page (The Catholic Playground)
Dec 8
Immaculate Conception, Feast of

Color (Catholic Icing)
Color (Schola Rosa)
Dec 9
St. Juan Diego 1474-1548
16
Color-Juan w Tilma (Coloring Saints)
Coloring Page (Catholic Playground)
Holy Heroes Audio Vol 1
DVD CCC Video Juan Diego Messenger of Guadalupe
Dec 9
Ven. Fulton J. Sheen 1895-1979
20

Dec 12
Our Lady of Guadalupe 1531
16
Color (The Catholic Kid)
Color (SJTB)
Color-Juan w Tilma (Coloring Saints)
Color- Juan w OLG (Catholic Playground)
Color – OLG (Catholic Playground)
Book Footsteps of the Saints L1-2nd/3rd
DVD CCC Video Juan Diego Messenger of Guadalupe
Dec 13
St. Lucy ?-304
4
Color (Schola Rosa)
Coloring Page (Catholic Playground)
Dec 14
St. John of the Cross 1542
Spiritual Director to St. Teresa of Avila

16
Color (Catholic Playground)
Video About (Catholic Online, min)
Jul 03
Dec 21
St. Thomas the Apostle(?-72)
.72
Color (Coloring Saints)
Color (Catholic Playground)
Saints and Me! Thomas, the Apostle-Builder and Believer age 4-9
Dec 21
St. Peter Canisius 1521-1597
Jesuit
16
About/Listen (Saint of the Day, Franc. Media)
About/Video (Apostleship of Prayer)
Saint Fun Facts
St. Peter Canisius
Book Footsteps of the Saints L3-Jr. High-Jr. High Watching on the Rhone
Dec 22
St. Frances Cabrini 1850-1917
20
Coloring Page (Catholic Playground)
Book Footsteps of the Saints L2-4th/5th gr To The Ends of the Earth: A Story of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
Vision Book: Mother Carbrini Missionary to the World