During Advent we put up no Christmas decorations. We have an Advent wreath we put in the middle of the dining room table. This year I am thinking about making a purple table runner to go under it. Every night during Advent we say the prayers that came with our wreath. They include the O Antiphons and another short prayer. We do put out our empty manger from our nativity, and each night we pray before the nativity a prayer asking Jesus to come into our hearts as he came into the world when he was born. We also have out the small statues of Our Lady and St. Joseph from the nativity and we have them start on the first Sunday of Avent in the farthest corner of our house, and every Sunday we move them closer to the nativity.
We did the Jesse Tree one year, but it wasn’t our favorite. Not sure if we will do it again or not.
We celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day with a big meal (and I do get out my Christmas tablecloth, dishes, etc for this meal), Mass, and small gifts in the everyone’s shoes. Here are some pictures from St. Nicholas Day last year. This year I am also going to try to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well.
On Pink Sunday last year we had an “Open House” where all our friends and family could stop buy throughout the afternoon and evening. The turn out last year wasn’t so great, but I would really love to try again this year and plan ahead a bit more so as to invite more people. Here are some pictures of the things I served last year at our open house, an advent project I worked on last year, and some of my Christmas baking. Maybe we’ll do it after Christmas this year, or closer to Christmas.
This will be our first Christmas in our own home, as last year we were at my parents’ house and observed more of their traditions. I think what we will do will be like this:
The last Sunday before Christmas we will decorate the house, trim the tree, etc. Probably this will be the day we have the open house. Christmas Eve is when my family celebrates most of it’s Christmas traditions, so we have incorporated those. We eat a dinner made up of entirely appetizers, our favorites. Afterward we might watch a Christmas movie. This year I think we’ll read the Christmas Story instead. Then we open presents (yes, on Christmas Eve, I love it!) We enjoy our gifts and go to bed. Maybe we’ll go to Midnight Mass this year. Christmas Morning we have a wonderful breakfast (DH family tradition) followed by gifts with DH family and Christmas Day at their house (and of course, Mass if we didn’t go to Midnight Mass).
So… that’s what we’ll be doing.