1. Jesse Tree and ornaments with Holy Heroes (or make your own felt ornaments). It's free! Can't hurt, games, and coloring pages, and songs and videos, emailed daily! Here's a Jesse Tree idea for you from construction paper.
2. St. Andrew's Novena say the prayer 15x a day. Nov 30th (feast of St. Andrew) through Christmas. This is a very popular Novena.
3. Advent wreaths and Advent candles and incense! Burn them at dinner with an Advent Prayer, or at bedtime or during your Jesse Tree time. Have an Advent Wreath Blessing.
Make your own candles with this cool Illuminated Ink Kit- Mother of Divine Grace 1st grade syllabus has these listed as the art project for this month. Buy the candle kit from a retailer online or check with your local Catholic Book store.
4. Advent Calenders, have you seen the candy free ones Lego makes on Amazon? We are getting those next year! Makes it a lot easier to give up candy! Or play with some Wisemen! (you can move them across the house)
5. Sacrifices- give something up! Try the sacrifice beads with your kids, you would be surprised at how well they like this. Why don't you try it? St. Therese and her little way....just saying..she is only a doctor of the Church..no biggie.
6. Make a manger for Jesus, cut up strips or yellow construction paper like straw, or yarn, or use real straw. Every good deed, have the kids place a yellow strip or piece of straw in the manger.
7. Decor! Decorate your Advent table or home altar with purple and rose colored cloths or table runners. Find advent themed decorations and religious items.
8. Have an Advent book list to read off of. Keep it holy! Why not keep the focus of Christmas on Jesus. Don't get distracted too much by all the worldy stuff. Try and pick up books to read to the kids that revolve around our faith during this season. Here' an Advent Book.
9. Have a Christmas Tree Blessing. (From US Conference of Bishops)
10. Put out a Nativity set or two or three or 10! If you check Catholic Icings page, she has a cool printable one you can download and print and cut out with your little ones. We saved ours from last year, I am putting it out again. We talked about those Nativity sets all year long...amazing the impression they get from making one for themselves. My kids love this set by Fisher- Price.
** and if you do the Nativity set, make the Wise Men move across the house. Everyday, or pick a designated day of the week, and move the Wise Men towards the stable.
11. Celebrate St. Nicholas' feast day in style! Get some ideas for this great tradition from here, and they even have a candy cane blessing!
12. Teach your kids O Come O Come Emmanuel. It's an advent song full of O Antiphons- you will learn about those with your Jesse Tree. Now teach it in Latin- and learn the connection to Gaudete Sunday. YouTube has songs and videos you can use. There's a riddle at the end too!
13. Learn the names of the 3 Wise Men: Casper, Melchoir and Balthazar. There is a special blessing for your house on the Epiphany. Have your priest bless your chawk. We did! I think that was his first time..but he complied happily. Take a print out of the page so he knows your serious ;)
14. Sing/learn the 12 Days of Christmas song and find out what the meaning of the symbols are- Check out EWTN.
15. do some advent games. Catholic Toolbox has great printable Catholic games and ideas. Or play this game! Kids never get sick of it!