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A Meaningful Advent: December Traditions

There are many ways of making the Advent season meaningful.  In our society where the holiday season for children often means a big case of the “gimmies”, how can we celebrate in a way that brings meaning to the season? Or rather uncovers the meaning already present.

In the coming weeks we will be writing a series of posts called December traditions.  Here is the first in the series.


Above is the simplest of Advent traditions.  Mary & Joseph walk around the room on their way to the stable.  Perhaps you already have Mary & Joseph figures you can use.  If not look around the house and see if you have something you can use?  I decided to use plain wooden peg dolls.  Last year I had planned to dress them up but we found that we really like them simple.  We already had this donkey & so they became our wandering couple & donkey.  Each evening (without the children seeing) the figures are moved closer and closer to the stable.  The stable stands empty awaiting the holy family.  Stories can be told every evening of Mary & Joseph on their journey, scripture can be read, whatever works for your family.


The next idea is from a book called, All Year Round.  “Star Ladder” is a beautiful way for children to visualize the days passing from the beginning of Advent to Christmas eve.  This is how we crafted our version of “Star Ladder”.  First we found a blue ribbon and cut 23 yellow felt stars.  Then we glued the stars to it.

I crafted a very simple angel.  She is made with yellow & white roving.  I sewed 3 tiny pearl white beads around her neck and placed a pin with a large yellow head to attach her to the ribbon.  At the start of Advent we place her at the very top of the ladder at the very first star.  Every day she descends the ladder and when she gets to the last star a candle is lit in celebration of Christmas eve.  In this way the light of the heavens is brought to earth.


We made our candle out of rolled beeswax sheets. You can use any special candle you have. In the Waldorf tradition the nature table is decorated with a different element each week.  The first week is stone.  So here we have a crystal and a stone that we melted crayon on to make a simple Mary & child firgure.  Here’s our verse for the first week of Advent.

The first light of Advent is the light of stone.

Stones that live in crystals, seashells & bones.

How do you celebrate Advent in your home?  Keep checking with us in the coming weeks for more December traditions