For every day of Advent, we suggest little but meaningful activities
to do to help you prepare for Christmas in a spiritual way.
Adapted from an Advent calendar by
The Institute for Catholic Formation, Diocese of Bridgeport.
Sunday, 28 November
Make time to pray
Commit, individually or as a household, to a designated prayer time each day or each week. Consider exploring one of the traditional Catholic prayers each week, such as the Rosary, Lectio Divina, the Examen, or Morning or Night Prayer.
Monday, 29 November
Commit to kindness
This time of year can be stressful and we are often our own worst enemies. Make a commitment to be kind to strangers, your family, and yourself. Remember, God so loved the world, he sent his Son! Spread the love!
Tuesday, 30 November
Get out the Advent wreath and light the candles
Don’t worry if you don’t have new candles or if they are the wrong colour. Light a candle each evening and thank God for the light that overcomes the darkness.
Wednesday, 1 December
Donate money or items to organisations that provide services for pregnant women or families and children. Pray that all may choose life!
Thursday, 2 December
Take time to clean up, clean out, and declutter your home. Donate items that you no longer need, but others could use
Friday, 3 December
Put up the crib
Tell the story of Jesus’ birth as you work together to set up the manger scene. For extra fun, keep baby Jesus out of the crib and let the youngest member of the family place him in the manger on Christmas morning.
Saturday, 4 December
At dinner each night or just before you go to bed, make a list of 1-3 things for which you are grateful. Say a prayer of thanksgiving.
Sunday, 5 December
Go to confession
Clear out the clutter in your heart and mind by healing your relationship with God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Monday, 6 December
Celebrate the feasts!
Saint Nicholas (6 Dec.), Saint Juan Diego (9 Dec.), Saint Lucy (13 Dec.) and Saint John of the Cross (14 Dec.) all have feast days during Advent. Take time to learn about and celebrate these holy heroes.
Tuesday, 7 December
Find time to be still and silent, even if it is just five minutes. Ponder God’s great love for you.
Wednesday, 8 December
Take time to honour Mary on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (8 Dec.), the Feast of Our Lady of Loreto (11 Dec.), or the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (12 Dec.).
Thursday, 9 December
Don’t forget Saint Joseph
In honour of Saint Joseph, Patron Saint of Workers, be sure to show kindness
to workers today, especially those working in retail, hospitality, public
safety, and medicine.
Friday, 10 December
Make a grocery list
As you plan for holiday baking or your Christmas meal, add some extra items to donate to the food bank or organisation that provides meals for those in need.
Saturday, 11 December
Help a loved one put up decorations. Offer to babysit or provide respite for caregivers. Wrap gifts or shovel snow for a neighbour. Serve coffee or a meal to those who are hungry. Make a donation to a service organisation.
Sunday, 12 December
Take a hike!
Joseph and Mary journeyed to Bethlehem. The Wise Men journeyed to find the Baby Jesus. Get outdoors and reflect on your own walk toward God.
Monday, 13 December
Recall that Jesus is the Light of the world!
Enjoy dinner by candlelight. Take a drive to see Christmas lights. Remember
that Jesus is the light that overcomes the darkness.
Tuesday, 14 December
Pray for the dead
This time of year can be particularly difficult for those who are grieving. Send a card or note to those who are experiencing Christmas without a loved one for the first time. Pray for those who have died and all who love them.
Wednesday, 15 December
Go carol singing!
Spread the joy of the season by carol singing at a nursing home or other care facility or in our parish. Can’t gather with others? Invite friends or family members to record a song and exchange videos.
Thursday, 16 December
Pray a Christmas novena …
… beginning on 16 December 16 and concluding on 24 December. Search the internet for the traditional Saint Andrew Christmas novena or learn about cultural celebrations such as Las Posadas or Simbang Gabi.
Friday, 17 December
O Come, O Come Emmanuel!
The O Antiphons, used during evening prayer, begin on 17 December. Sing the appropriate verse of the Advent carol each night this week.
Saturday, 18 December
Thank service providers
Leave pre-packaged snacks or beverages for mail carriers and delivery people.
Sunday, 19 December
Watch a movie
Make some popcorn and hot chocolate and settle in for a seasonal movie such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, or The Nativity Story.
Monday, 20 December
Look at the stars!
The shepherds and the Magi experienced celestial events in the Nativity story. Go out and view the night sky, giving thanks for the gift of creation.
Tuesday, 21 December
Be a friend to those experiencing depression, anxiety, or otherwise struggling during this season. Offer a prayer for those who need comfort and healing
Wednesday, 22 December
Consider taking sweet treats to homeless shelters, food pantries, or other organisations that serve those in poverty. (Check food donation policies first!)
Thursday, 23 December
Reserve a gift or two …
… to open on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, or Three Kings, which celebrates the Magi paying homage to the Infant Jesus, offering gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Friday, 24 December
Let heaven & nature sing!
Look for simple ways to have a more environmentally-friendly holiday. Use gift wrap that is reusable or recyclable. Avoid single-use plastics. Be conscious of energy and water use. Thank God for the gift of creation.
Saturday, 25 December
Joy to the world!
Put on some music. Prepare a feast. Rejoice! God is with us! Come, let us adore him.