The Twenty-Four Days of Christmas instilled in me a strong sense of Advent. Advent is a time to prepare for Christmas. It is not Christmas itself. Christmas begins on Christmas Day and extends at least until Epiphany and possibly through Candlemas. Advent--the four weeks before Christmas--is a time of reflection and sacrifice. We will slowly put up Christmas decorations. Candles can go up now, but the Christmas tree must wait until Gaudete Sunday (the third Sunday in Advent).
We once again have an Advent calendar from the National Gallery of Art. This year's calendar has all Madonna and Child paintings from the NGA. Between Christmas and New Year, we will once again go to the NGA to attempt to find as many originals as we can of the paintings featured on the Advent calendar. Here you'll find my post about last year's trip.
Our dining room has been taken over by our Jesse Tree. Our parish provides weekly printouts for the Jesse Tree. This past Sunday Meg and Clare collected sticks (some rather large) to create our Jesse Tree. They also cut the week's ornaments out themselves. We have been doing our Jesse tree ornaments at dinner time (when we have a little more time) and opening our Advent calendar window in the morning (when we are running out the door to school).
So far, it has been a nice start to our Advent season.