3 December 2006

First Sunday of Advent, 2006

advent candle 1st sunday

I love the build up to Christmas.

On Friday night the children put up the tree and we dug out the basket of Christmas books. The current favourite is Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas Goes on Holiday.

Yesterday we cleared the nature table and set up the Advent candles and calendar on the mantelpiece. (The calendar is on its fourth year I think, and some of the windows need blu-tak to keep them shut until the appropriate day). The grown ups of the house tried in vain to remember where the stable and nativity pieces were put when we moved house during the year. Hopefully the Advent Fairy will remember after a glass or two of cab sav tonight. (If she’s promised a g&t and a night out, she just might get around to making an Advent calendar one day).

Tonight we lit the first candle and sang the song:

Advent, Advent, a candle burns
Advent, Advent, a candle burns
First one, then two, then three, then four
Then stands the Christ child at the door

We read the now rather familiar first chapter of Mary’s Little Donkey to the children. We can almost recite it word for word these days.

The children each chose a stone or shell to place on the nature table (no one mentioned the glaring hole where the stable should be) and we recited the verse for the first week of Advent.

This week’s verse gives thanks to the mineral world.

The first light of Advent
It is the light of stones
Stones that live in crystals
Seashells and bones

In the past two weeks I’ve had several visitors to my Advent posts from last year, and a few comments requesting information and all the verses. These can be found in last year's archives, here, here, here and here.

A happy first week of Advent to you all.


Lazy cow said...

And a very happy first week of Advent to you, my dear.

Jo said...

Lovely traditions!

Martina said...

This is such a nice tradition! I think the nature table is such a good way to tie nature into the season.

zephyr said...

what a lovely tradition!
while i come from a spiritual/religous background, the advent sundays were not a big part of our observance...but it is something I am eager to embrace...even if it is just me and my sister in this big ol' house. we do put out a creche...and I do have a wonderful "celebration ring" (a candle holder that holds 4 candles in a circular dish that is deep enought to place flowers or vines) with a scallop shell motive shaped into the pottery (phew...I know...terribly confusing description)
ANYway!...thank you so much for the inspiration!
And happy, peaceful first advent sunday

MsCellania said...

Really special and very nice, Suse.
Your children will cherish these memories and carry them on.

Stjernesol said...

Wishing you a happy advent!

A nice tradition to give your children and something they will remember when they grow old ;)

Emma said...

Lovely! I was just thinking about the Raymond Briggs books last night! I loved them years ago, but don't have a copy at the moment. I think it's going to be my December Quest.


String Bean said...

Happy Advent!

Surfing Free said...

Sounds lovely :) And I like the nature table as well.
Happy Advent to you!

Em said...

So beautiful - I love these traditions.

Mama Lamb said...

Across the miles and the same verses, the same song, same donkey and Mary... and slightly different Advent calendar ( but also on its 4th year and held together with tape) and some felt people and animals for the Advent weeks to come...and a slightly different Advent wreath. Our candles are in a ring of greenery, with 3 purple and one pink candle (more for teh Episcopalian part of our lives, not for the Waldorf..)

In the end though, worls apart we are, but so very similar in our daily lives!

Maybe if our digi cam gets repaired I will post pics of ours!
Happy Advent!

lk said...

I love your advent ritual- the way it brings spirituality and nature together in a way that is tender and real.


simmyb said...

What a lovely tradition you have. It's funny but I couldn't find some of the bits and bobs for the nativity this year but the children didn't notice - it's all there in their memories. We also have a (steiner-y) calendar on it's fifth year and battered around the edges.