November 30, 2013
The STRONG program series at St. Alphonsus Liguori, helps reminds ways for families to live and share their faith at home. The goal of STRONG is to help strengthen our faith, our families and our community.
The hustle and bustle of the season is here! Our days suddenly become filled with shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, Christmas Cards, and more! It’s not difficult to forget what the season of Advent is truly about.
Just like Lent, Advent is a period of waiting and preparing our minds and hearts through fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. It is a time we eagerly await the birth of Jesus!
Here are a few things that families can do together this Advent Season:
1. Gather together with music.
Make some hot chocolate and gather the kids together, in front of the tree or a nativity scene. Turn on the Christmas lights and sit together and listen to meaningful music, such as this this version of Hallelujah.
2. Have an Advent Wreath on display in your home.
Learn and discuss its tradition and history.
Try not to get lost in the commercialization of the season, and remember that our children will learn from us. So for this Advent season, take some extra time with your family sharing Christmas stories, reading Scripture, listening to music together, or just sitting quietly in talking and praying.
About the history of the Advent Wreath.
3. Celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6.
Read a story about St. Nicholas before bedtime and have the kids put their shoes out. Fill their shoes with chocolate coins and share in the surprise the next morning.
About St. Nicholas
4. Participate in Reconciliation.
Attend the parish Penance Service together on Thursday, December 19 at 7 p.m.
5. Have a nativity scene in your house!
Did you know the first-ever Nativity scene to be recorded in history was by St. Francis of Assisi? St. Francis was becoming concerned that the meaning of Christmas was slipping away from people as they were more focused on the ritual of gift giving. The Nativity scene, or Crèche, was a way to remind people the story of what Christmas is truly about.
History of the Nativity Scene
6. Read Scripture this Advent.
Whether before dinner or bed, spend time reading Scripture together. Try using the Daily Readings to help guide you through the season.
Find the Daily Readings
7. Be creative.
Use crafts and activities to engage little ones in the meaning of Advent. Try these downloadable coloring pages.
Find Ministry-to-Children coloring pages.
8. Wholesome family fun time.
Many kids enjoy going to the movies. Here is a family movie released this year. The Christmas Candle tells a story of how one town kept Christ in Christmas sharing the light of Christ with others. Now showing at these local theaters: Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville.