Advent

Advent 2019 Resources for the Family


 Advent Activities               Feast Days Dec 1-Dec 24                 Christmas Movies    

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.)

ADVENT VIDEOS

Brother Francis: The Days of Advent (for ages 3+) 100-minute DVD is divided into mini-episodes, one for each day of Advent. 25 meditations.

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
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer The Movie (animated)
Scrooge 1951
Scrooge (musical) 1970
Spot’s Magical Christmas                 -> Spot Coloring Page
Twas the Night Before Christmas (animated) 1968
T'was the NightBefore Christmas (animated) 1974
Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas : A Story of Joyful Giving  V. Tales Coloring Page
Veggie Tales A Meaningful Life -     > 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:
Rudolph's ShinyNew Year
Winnie the Pooh A Very Pooh Year


OTHER HOLIDAY MOVIES - NOT FREE
Angela's Christmas (2018,Netflix)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) -> Rudolph Coloring Pages
Santa Claus is Comingto Town
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
Happy New Year Charlie Brown

Other Christmas Movie Lists
USCCB Approved Christmas Movies List
ChurchPOP Christmas Movie List

ADVENT SAINTS, FEASTS, HOLY DAYS

Day
Saint Name
Patron/ess of
Country
Calendar
Dec 1
Abram J. Ryan, Fr. 1838-1886
---
USA

Dec 1
Press
England
H
Dec 1
St. Eligius 588-661
Metalworkers, Jewelers
France
H
Dec 1
---
France

Dec 2
St. Bibiana c. 300
Single Women
Rome
T
Dec 3
Roman Catholic Diocese of Gurk
Germany

Dec 3
Foreign Missions
France
NT
Dec 4
St. Barbara ? -235
Architects
Greece
T
Dec 4
---
Damascus
N
Dec 4
St. Peter Chrysologus 450
---
Italy
T
Dec 5
St. Sabbas 532
---
Cappadocia
T
Dec 5
St. Gerald 1109
---
Spain
H
Dec 6
St. Nicholas ?- 343
Children, Pawnbrokers, mariners, Russia
Asia Minor, modern day Turkey
NT
Dec 7
St. Ambrose 340-397
Candlemakers
Rome (Milan)
NT
Dec 8
USA
Nazareth
T
Dec 9

USA

Dec 9
St. Juan Diego 1474-1548
Indigenous People
Mexico (Guadalupe)
N
Dec 9
St. Leocadia 304
Toledo, Spain
Spain
H
Dec 10
St. Melchiades 304
Cave Explorers
Rome
T
Dec 10
Aviators
Italy
H
Dec 10
St. Romaric 653
---
Austrasia (Frankish)
H
Dec 11
St. Damascus 384
---
Italy (Rome)
NT
Dec 11
Our Lady, Queen of Angels 1212
---
Paris
H
Dec 12
Americas, the Unborn
Mexico (Guadalupe)
NT
Dec 13
St. Lucy ?-304
Blind, Italy, Syracuse
Italy (Sicily)
NT
Dec 13
St. Odilia 720
Alsace, against blindess
Alsace
H
Dec 14
Contemplatives, Mystics, Spanish poets
Spain (Avila)
N
Dec 14
Sts Nicasius  & Eutropia, his sister c 400
Small pox victims
France (Rheims)
H
Dec 14
St. Venantius Fortunatus 605
Eye ailments
France
H
Dec 15
St. Christiana/Nino 296-335
Millers, people with mental disorders, mental health workers
Georgia (Russia)
H
Dec 16
St. Eusebius of Vercelli 371
Vercelli
Vercelli
T
Dec 16
St. Adelaide 931-999
---
Italy
T
Dec 16
Sts. Ananias, Azarius, & Misael 7th C BC
Babylonian names were Sidrach, Abdenago and Misach
---
Judah
H
Dec 17
St. Olympian c 410
---
Nicomedia
H
Dec 17
St. Lazarus 1st century
Lepers and against Leprosy
Bethany (near Jerusalem)
H
Dec 18
St. Gatian 3rd century
---
Tours
H
Dec 19
St. Urban V  1310-1390
Architects, Educators
Benedictines, Missionaries
France
H
Dec 20
St. Dominic of Silos 1073
Captives
Spain
H
Dec 20
---
Mesopotamia
H
Dec 21
St. Thomas, the Apostle
architects; blind people; construction workers; theologians; and against doubt.
Galilee (Roman Empire)
T
Dec 21

Holland
N
Dec 22
Immigrants
USA (Chicago)
T
Dec 22
Sts. Chaeremon & Ischyrion 3rd century, martyrs
---
Egypt
H
Dec 23
St. John of Kanty 1473
Poland
Poland
N
Dec 23
St. Yvo of Chartres 1115
Canonists
France
H
Dec 23
St. Servulus, beggar 590
People with Disabilities, especially Cerebral Palsy
Rome
H
Dec 24
Sts. Adam & Eve
---
Eden
H

Calendar:
H - Historical
N - New
T - Traditional