Sunday, 30 November 2014

The beginning of Advent, The Christmas Story

Today marks the first day of Advent. This is actually the first day of the liturgical year, and of course, the preparation time leading up to the Twelve Days of Christmas. The colour for this season is purple for penitence, reminding us to prepare ourselves in readiness for the arrival of Christ.

We use the time of Advent to get the children familiar with different aspects of the Christmas story.Traditionally we retell the story using our favourite book 'The Christmas Story', that the children can read and follow, together with a nativity set handed down to us from my family. This is a special set that is especially for the children to work with and use in their own way (with respect) as part of their own meditation.

Here was our first nativity story in photos for today. In the past we have retold the story every night at dinner time with the figurines. What is different this year is the addition of a few 'building materials' to create more of a scene for the children.


Our 'stable' scene. Some odd cutoff blocks, a bamboo mat, a cut off
from a wreath, a pine cone that my daughter received from a friend
at pre-school, a wooden ring serving as the base of the manger, and
a semi circle as the manger. Behind is a lantern for the candle.

The Christmas Story

The candle is lit, our story begins

Figurines lined up ready for the children to
choose which ones they would like to 'act' out

My husband starts with an Advent hymn: 'O Come O Come
Emmanuel', 'Conditor Alme Siderum', or 'Rorate Caeli'...

Reading together with my son. The story has not quite begun yet.
You can see my son has chosen Joseph and a few Kings... 

The Angel Gabriel appears to Mary.

Jesus arrives...
The Angel appears to the shepherd ...
The shepherd visits the baby Jesus...

The three kings visit the baby Jesus...

The Nativity set and 'stable' are packed away ready for next time...

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