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Monday, 28 November 2016

Get Kids Thinking of Advent






GIFTS FOR JESUS


On the first Sunday of Advent each child in our family receives an empty manger. An oatmeal box covered with bright paper will do as well. At bedtime the children draw straws for each kind deed performed in honor of Baby Jesus as His birthday surprise. The straws are placed in the child's manger or box daily. It is amazing how much love a child can put into Advent when he is preparing for His Redeemer's coming in grace.

On Christmas each child finds an Infant in his manger, placed on a small table or on a chair beside his bed. Usually it is a tiny doll, beautifully dressed; but one of our children receives a Hummel Infant year after year. This custom, which in no way interferes with the larger manger in the living room, fills the child with a longing in Advent, and gives him an image of his Redeemer as his first happy glance mornings and his last impression at night during the entire Christmas season.



As our youngsters grew older, they added the Hungarian custom of planting a grain of blessed wheat for each Advent sacrifice. They use small flower pots, especially decorated with Christmas symbols. By Christmas the tender green shoots of wheat are growing, each a reminder of some special, and of course secret, offering of love for "Little Jesus" on His birthday. The wheat is placed at the crib and usually lasts until Epiphany.


Excerpt taken from FAMILY ADVENT CUSTOMS by Helen McLoughlin