Advent Week One

It's been forever since I last posted, but for good reason. We've been busy finishing up our study of Ancient Rome (thank goodness!), deep cleaning and re-organizing the entire house, planning for Advent, and planning our study of the Middle Ages.

For Advent this year, we'll be focusing on the history of Christmas traditions. This worked out especially well since many traditions date back to the Middle Ages or before. An amazing overview of Christmas in the Middle Ages can be found in Medieval Celebrations: How to Plan for Holidays, Weddings, and Reenactments With Recipes, Customs, Costumes, Decorations, Songs, Dances, and Games by Daniel Diehl and Mark Donnelly (a preview of the chapter "Christmas Celebrations" can be found here.) The book Christmas in Ritual and Tradition by Clement A. Miles has also been very helpful and informative; The Catholic Christmas Book by Father Francis Weiser is on my wish list.

For the first time ever, I've typed up all of my Advent plans and put them in a binder, neatly organized by daily tabs. Each day's section includes supplemental stories, recipes and craft ideas and the dividers are collaged with pictures appropriate to the day's focus. I worked on much of it this weekend while I was down with the flu, so I can't say that I'm thrilled with the results, but it's certainly better than nothing!

For general Advent planning, I found the following websites helpful:

I am especially indebted to Jennifer Miller for her wonderful series of Advent posts this year. In particular, her 2009 Advent Catechesis post has been very helpful. We'll be following her Advent reading plan with only some minor modifications, in addition to Jesse Tree readings and an assortment of daily picture books and stories.
Now, for this week's plans:


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