Do You Have Any Resources for Advent?
Ask Kytka Archives: November 29, 1999
Celebrating Advent is one of our family’s favorite activities. We love that it goes on for so many days and the children delight in the “countdown”. On this page I have listed several of our favorite activities as well as some resources you’ll enjoy!
Setting up a crèche for Advent:
The objects are wrapped and one opened each day from the first to the twenty-fourth of December and
put in and around the crèche.
A dark blue cloth to cover the nature table, objects from nature such as: stones, small plants, cones, branches, straw flowers, etc.
Animals: sheep, ox, donkey, birds…
People: Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, the Christ Child.
And: stars, the angel, a house or stable or a slab of a tree trunk.
You should know what is in each parcel in order to relate to the child its relevance to the crèche. To do this accurately, you might re-read the Christmas story in the Bible.
The assembling of the crèche begins with the mineral kingdom, then the plant kingdom, then the animals and, lastly, the people.
Suggestions for assembling the crèche:
1st day – a special stone
2nd day – moss
3rd day – cones in different sizes
4th day – branches
5th day – dried flowers or a small potted plant
6th day – straw for the Christ Child
7th day – more cones
8th day – another special stone (polished or a crystal)
9th day – a sheep
10th day – a shepherd
11th day – the ox
12th day – the donkey
13th day – a small bird
14th day – more sheep
15th day – a shepherd
16th day – Mary
17th day – stars made of gold foil* (3 inches or 7 cm in diameter)
18th day – Joseph
19th day – more sheep
20th day – a shepherd
21st day – a light for the shepherds
22nd day – straw for the animals
23rd day – the angel Gabriel
24th day – the Christ Child (in the crib or in Mary’s arms)
* Mary can walk a path of stars toward the crèche. On a certain day, put out as many stars as there are days left until Christmas.
The assembling of the crèche may continue until January 6th, the Epiphany, the coming of the three Wise Men.
Dec. 25th – Mary lays the Child into the crib
Dec. 26th – the first shepherd returns to his sheep
Dec. 27th*- the first Wise Man appears at a distance
Dec. 28th – the second shepherd returns
Dec. 29th – the second Wise Man appears
Dec. 30th – the third shepherd retreats
Dec. 31st – the third Wise Man appears
Jan. 1st – the gold (a stone) of the first Wise Man (it should be placed in his arms)
Jan 2nd – the frankincense of the second Wise Man (an incense candle)
Jan 3rd – the myrrh for the third Wise Man (a branch)
Jan. 4th – the three Wise Men approach the Child
Jan. 5th – Joseph wears a purple cloak
Jan. 6th – the three Wise Men present their gifts to the Child
*The three Wise Men may also walk the path of stars each day.
Advent Garden Story
Long, long ago, Mother Mary was preparing for the first Christmas. It was time for her to weave a robe for the Christ Child who was soon to be born.
Among the stars she wandered, and they gave her radiant threads of crystal for the Child’s robe. To the Moon she went, and it gave her silver threads. Threads of gleaming gold the Sun gave to her. And so Mother Mary gathered all the lovely threads and began to weave. But alas! The threads slipped apart and could not be woven together. On her way went Mother Mary, searching, searching.
“Ah, dear stones and crystals,” said Mother Mary, “you are so strong and firm. Can you help me to weave these threads into a robe for the Christ Child?”
“No, Mother Mary. We will mark your pathway to the stable and give you sturdy ground for your footsteps, but we cannot help you weave your threads.”
“Ah, dear plants,” said Mother Mary, “you are so lovely and green. Some of you are green even in the depth of winter. Can you help me to weave these threads into a robe for the Christ Child?”
“No, Mother Mary. We will make you a garden where the Christmas rose can bloom, but we cannot help you weave your threads.”
“Ah, dear animals,” said Mother Mary, “you are so nimble and lively. Can you help me to weave these threads into a robe for the Christ Child?”
“No, Mother Mary. Our brother Donkey will help you on your long journey, but we cannot help you weave your threads.”
Now Mother Mary no longer knew where to turn for help to weave her lovely threads. But lo! There came an angel to her and spoke softly, saying: “Mother Mary, you must ask the children for the love in their hearts. When the children of Earth send you their love, then you will be able to weave the Christ Child’s robe.”
And that is just what happened. And now, each year at Advent time the angel comes and brings us a light in the darkness. From it every child can take a light. These lights will send heart’s love to Mother Mary, to weave a robe for the coming Christ Child.
Advent Garden story:
Special Thanks to Cynthia Kennedy from Alan Howard Waldorf School Store, Toronto.
Verse For Lighting the Advent Wreath Candles
The first light of Advent is the light of stones.
Stones that live in crystals, seashells, and bones.
The second light of Advent is the light of plants.
Roots, stem, leaf, flower and fruit by whom we live and grow.
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts.
Animals of farm, field, forest, air and sea.
All await the birth in greatest and in least.
The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind.
The light of love, the light of thought, to give and to understand.
A candle’s but a simple thing,
it starts with just a bit of string,
But dipped or rolled with patient hand,
it gathers wax upon the strand.
Until complete and snowy white,
it gives at last a lovely light.
Life seems so like that bit of string,
each deed we do a simple thing.
Yet day by day on life’s strand,
we work with patient heart and hand.
It gathers joy, makes dark days bright,
and gives at last a lovely light.
Kytka’s Advent Gifts for You!
- A Poem for the Advent Garden
- Advent Cookies
- Advent Table Play
- Creating A World Family At Advent Time
- Notes On An Advent Circle
- The Golden Lantern: An Advent Story
- The Star Child
Candle and Advent Wreath Verse:
*Special Thanks to Karen Smith, Atlanta for sharing!