The first week of Advent is over and three more full weeks this year. There are probably many different Advent traditions we had in our different families growing up, maybe different ones we have used ourselves in our lives in helping to prepare for Christmas, I know I am doing something a little different this Advent, I have daily reflections e-mailed to me that I can just take a few minutes to pray and reflect over each day. One of the sources is from Dynamic Catholic and you can subscribe to them on the following website: http://dynamiccatholic.com/best-advent-ever/#bae_sign_up . I think it is too late to subscribe to the other one I am receiving, I’ll try to get that out earlier next year.
Another option I have found could be used individually or as a family, with your advent wreath each day. On Creighton University’s website they have a prayer for each day of Advent, http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/, that is structured as a small service that would only take a couple of minutes, or you could add or subtract from it, depending on what you want to do. This could be printed out and shared or led by a certain person each day, with different people reading the Scripture passage or petitions.
A third option can be found on the US Bishop’s website that is presented as an Advent calendar. http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/advent/index.cfm You simply click on the door panels they have for each day and it provides a thought, readings, prayer or actions you might consider for that day.
Whatever we choose to do, hopefully this Advent we do take the opportunity to prepare ourselves for Christmas. Using a traditional manner in which we have done this in the past is always good, but looking at or considering something different is also helpful in that it not only may help us prepare for Christmas, but it may open up a means of prayer or daily reflection that we can also consider through the rest of the year.