Sunday, November 28, 2021

Get These 8 Books Ready for the 2nd Week of Advent

Happy first day of Advent!

I pray it's been a wonderfully blessed day for you.

Here, we did not partake in all of our Happy New Liturgical Year family traditions, but we did enjoy some of them.

Early this morning, I found our Works of Mercy Wisemenour Jesse Tree ornaments, and some favorite Advent books and palced them in a corner of the living room where they will be ready for bedtime reading and ornament hanging by the Advent wreath tonight.

Then, before Mass, my youngest pulled down the first link of our Advent chain and, together, our family focused on what it suggested.

After Mass, we partook in the extra blessings of meeting our new pastor and spending hours chatting, eating, and playing with fellow parishioners.

Thenm, as day turned to night, my children and I also went on our first day (okay, early evening) 
of Advent nature walk to pick out a branch for our Jesse tree and some greenery for our Advent wreath.

Around the aforementioned activities, instead of coming together for a Happy New Liturgical Year meal, game, and celebration as a family, we each naturally retreated to different quiet spots for personal downtime. (There's been a lot of busyness and some bumps in life lately, and so some quiet personal time seemed best today.)

During part of my quiet time, I decided which picture books I want to have on the ready for our second week of Advent Works of Mercy Wisemen tradition and - hoping they will come in on time - ordered the ones we do not have in our personal collection from our library website.

{Some links may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.}

If you'd like to do the same, here's my list:

December 5
2nd Sunday of Advent 
(a day we try to fit cookie making into)

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale

Have we been stingy with our gifts? What Work of Mercy might we act upon today while being generous with our gifts?

Is there a way we might instruct the ignorant, feed the hungry, or both, much like the characters in this book?

December 6
Feast of St. Nicholas
(a day we typically go in a field trip to do charitable works for the poor)

What a beautiful story of people coming together to give what they have so that love, joy, and devotion may prevail. How might you come together with others today to live a Work of Mercy?

December 7
Feast of St. Ambrose

"If we will see things as they truly are, we will find that all, from great to small, belong to one family. And this truth, known from the beginning of time, is perhaps seen best in the joyous illumination of Christmas." Is there someone who could use your help?

December 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(and a birthday here)

There are so many beautiful and symbolic images connected to Our Lady. Which one speaks to you?Is there someone who could use a little extra grace and intercession today? Perhaps we could pray to Our Lady for that person.

December 9
Feast of St. Juan Diego

St. Juan Diego - a man of simplicity, humility, obedience, and love of others - can act as an example to us. As you read his story, who or what came to mind? Is there a person you feel prompted to reach out to? An issue you sense needs attention? What can you do about that today?

December 10

Sometimes the greatest gift we can give someone is company. Other times, it is lending a hand? Who might need encouragement, a visit, or a hand?

December 11

An Orange for Frankie

Is there a family member or stranger that could use your help? What might you sacrifice today for the good of another?

I'd love to hear what seasonal picture books and Advent activities you've been enjoying.

May you continue to live this liturgical season in joyful anticipation.


Find book and audio selections for all four weeks of Advent by clicking throgh each image below

Sunday, November 21, 2021

7+ Books to Share in the First Week of Advent

{Some links may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.}

I love Christmas-themed books and have read oodles of them to my children through the years, highlighting a number of them in recent years with our Works of Mercy Wisemen tradition.

As I think ahead to which books I will pull out, purchase, or order from the library this year, I asked each of my children to name a favorite. 

Their shortlist was:

So, I will be making sure to include all of these in our Advent this year. In fact, one of the books will kick off our Works of Mercy Wisemen adventures this year.

On each day of Advent - or the days I manage to help the Wise Men journey - our Wise Men figurines stand in tableau with a book and, sometimes, a prompt and other times for my children to find.

This year, I am trying to decide books and prompts ahead of time and thought I'd share my first week's choices in case they inspire you.

I'd love to hear which books will be in your Advent book basket, too!

November 28
First Day of Advent
(and the day we typically go for a nature walk to find a branch for our Jesse tree and greenery for our Advent wreath)

Today, we begin reading about Jotham and his friends once more as we gather around our Advent wreath and hang our Jesse Tree ornaments. With each ornament, let's pray for the living by pausing to pray for the family that made the ornament for us.

November 29
(a birthday here)

Sacrifice, hope, determination, and love. All of these qualities are exemplified by the characters in this story. They are also exemplified by Daddy. Today, might we pray for the living and the dead by offering a special prayer for Daddy? Or, might we complete a secret service for him or in some other way encourage or honor him?

November 30
Feast of St. Andrew
(and a day when we start the St. Andrew Novena)

Today is the feast of St. Andrew - a fisherman and fisher of men. He was the apostle who let Jesus know about the boy with five barley loaves and two fish before Jesus fed the multitudes through a miracle. In today's story, the lighthouse family receives a miracle of sorts through the Flying Santa. is there a "miracle" you could be a part of today? Perhaps one which would feed the hungry?

December 1

Jonathon Toomey, a lonely man, was transformed through his interaction with the boy and his mom. Is there someone especially lonely that we know?Might we visit the imprisoned (by loneliness) of comfort the afflicted in some way?

December 2
Feast Day of St. Bibiana

Today is St. Bibiana's feast day. Consider how she lost everything except for her faith. Think about the little matchstick girl. Do we know anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, job, home, or health? Might we comfort the afflicted by writing an encouraging note? Or, could we clothe the naked by putting such things as hand warmers, gloves, hats, warm socks, etc. together to keep in the car to hand out to homeless people?

December 3
Feast of St. Francis Xavier

Today is the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, "Apostle of the Indies" and "Apostle of Japan", and this story shows someone giving selflessly without expectation of a return gift. Might we feed the hungry by making a Japanese- or Indian-inspired meal to share with someone who could use a lift?

December 4
Feast of St.John Damascus

Today is the feast day of John of Damascus or Damascene, who, among other things, eloquently defended the practice of venerating Christian images and, therefore, became known as the "Doctor of Christian Art." After browsing the images in today's beautiful book, might we use some beautiful Christian artwork in a craft project which can be part of a Work of Mercy? What and how?

We shall see if I am able to keep thinking ahead and shall also see how these prompts go over with my kids. In the meantime, I would love to hear what books are in your Advent book basket.


Find book and audio selections for all four weeks of Advent by clicking throgh each image below


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