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                                                   Creating Traditions                  
  Advent is a time of waiting and preparing. It is also a wonderful time to create new
traditions, below are some simple suggestions to help you create a new tradition as you
prepare and await the arrival of Christmas.

Create one bow each day in Advent and tie together on ribbon to make 27 bows by
Christmas Eve. Each day after the bow is made and tied on to the ribbon say a simple
prayer relating to Christmas... such as "Thank You God, for giving us your son Jesus, Amen".

Affix a self adhesive sticker to a calendar for each day in Advent. Say a prayer for a different
person each day or a thank you for a blessing.

Place a pillar candle in the center of your table each evening and sing to the tune Silent Night
Advent is here. Christmas is near
Wait for the One: God's special Son
Light up the candle with hope in your heart
Pray for a world of love, and do your part
Jesus bring us your peace
Jesus bring us your peace.

Take a photo of each child. When developed mount on a ribbon and place the date on it
with a fine tip marker or a self adhesive sticker on the back. Each year add a new photo
to the ribbon and see how the children grow and change.

Buy a few new ornaments for the tree each year and place the date on them. Each year as you
decorate the tree it will bring back wonderful memories of Christmas past.

Christmas Eve night as a sign of room and hospitality to Mary and Joseph, or to anyone alone or
who might be traveling on this night, make several luminaries to line your sidewalk and steps to
the front door. You can use old plastic milk bottles cut the top off and fill with kitty litter or sand
about 1/2 inch (4 CM). You can also use small brown or white lunch bags. Fill with kitty litter or sand
and place a tea light in each bottle or bag.

Gather the family together to assemble an Advent Wreath. The wire frame can be bought at any craft
store. Make sure you purchase the one with the candle holder attached. Add the greens if you purchase
the type on wire which looks the best be sure to have wire clippers handy! Decorate with bows,
ribbon, small ornaments, beads or what ever you like. Place 3 purple candles and one pink candle
in the holders and a white pillar candle in the center.

Each Sunday in Advent read part of the Christmas story from a children's Bible story book such as
The Family Bible.
1st Sun. Mary learns about her baby (Luke 1:26-38)
2nd Sun. Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56)
3rd Sun. Journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-5)
Christmas Eve Jesus is born (Luke 2:4-19

Whatever your traditions are, they are a special way of preparing and waiting, they are special
to you and your family. Celebrate together and enjoy this happy time.
May advent be a time of hopeful expectations for you and your family.

Merry Christmas

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