Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up

KCinC

I’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013

sponsored by the Catholic Bloggers Network.

Be sure to visit as many links as possible,

listed at the bottom of this post.

 

It’s so hard to keep the little ones attention on Him, when talks of Santa and new toys come up. We have taught our children about St. Nick, and how what he did has inspired the story of Santa Claus. When we take clothing, winter coats, and food to the local St. Vincent de Paul, we talk to them about how blessed we are and how it is wonderful to be able to share our blessings with others. We light our Advent candles each night and say extra prayers before dinner, hoping that some of it soaks in while the kids are amazed by the flames. We read extra Bible stories focused on Advent and Baby Jesus, and this year we are going to attempt to pray the Rosary as a family as well. The kids also love playing with their Little People Nativity, and hopefully they will love the new one that I made (and finally finished! watch for a post later on that!) just as much.

And even with all this extra attention, and extra focus put on our Faith, it still doesn’t seem like it’s enough. With the overwhelming secularization of Christmas, it seems to get harder each year to keep it all about Christ. With nearly all of our family living nearby, my children have two Grandma’s and plenty of Aunties who all love buying clothes and toys for them. How do you emphasize the true meaning of Christmas when all they see is piles and piles of new toys?!

We are also blessed to be able to send our children to Catholic school. And though it isn’t nearly as Catholic as it used to be, I was very pleased to hear they are doing a Christmas concert (most schools in the public board aren’t), and the kids painted Advent Wreaths (and prayer cards too) to bring home to “light”. I know for some of the kids in his class, the only things they will learn about their Faith, will be taught to them at school. But for us, that’s not enough. And just like I will help my son practice writing his name each afternoon, we will continue to teach them everything we can about being Catholic.

I have my moments when I doubt all the extra work that my husband and I go to, to teach them about their Faith. But when my 4 year old corrects my pronunciation of a Biblical name, and my 2 year old requests I say a prayer to St Michael before bed instead of to her Guardian Angel, I smile because I know that we must be doing something right.

Hope you all take the time to check out all the other great posts in this link up (they will be added to the bottom of this page by the end of Dec 2), and please share with me in the comments how you keep Christ in Christmas. You can also read my other Keeping Christ in Christmas post here.

***************************************************************************************

Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas

Simply Homeschool  Living Advent Series 12/1 – 12/25

Fifth of Five     Keeping Christ in Christmas – Blog Link-up 2013

Coffee Moments with Sam     The Light of Hope

Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition

Open Window Making hay while the Advent wreath shines

Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas

Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual

On the Way Home:  Keep Christ in Christmas

Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others

Mommy Bares All       Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH

Canadian Catholic Mom         Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up

Mountain of Grace Homeschooling   Keep Christ in Christmas

Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception 

Adoro Ergo Sum:  How We Keep Christ in Christmas

JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Home to 4 Kiddos        Keep Christ in Christmas

Embedded Faith          Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas

City Girl, Country Home         Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?

Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats

Joy of Nine9    Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child

Splendor in the Home Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy

Training Happy Hearts            10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year

A Catholic Life Advent: The Beginning of the Liturgical Year & Source of Rich Meditations

Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus

Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas

A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas

Catholic All Year: Three Reasons I love Advent

Mary the Defender: Christmas The Battle Begins

Truly Rich Mom: Keep Christ in Christmas

Day By Day in Our World: 40 Days Seeking Him and Keeping Christ in Christmas

Diapers and Drivel: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Raising Soldiers 4 Christ: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Rosary Mom   Keep Christ In Christmas With A Teenager

Tercets:           Keeping Christ in Christmas: Join Church Ministries

Campfires and Cleats How We Keep Christ in Christmas

Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season

Homeschooling With Joy        Keeping Christ in Christmas

Mrs Domestic Bliss     Gingerbread Nativity

The Chic Traveller      Keeping Christ in Christmas

California to Korea     Keeping Christ in Christmas

Dominique’s Desk       Keeping Christ in Christmas

Our ABC Life: An Advent Update

Journey Living: Anno Domini

The Road to Rome: Advent Prayer and Reflection Resources

Life of Fortunate Chances: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Quidquid Est, Est!: Reblog: Advent Posts

20 thoughts on “Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up

  1. Lovely post. It is so difficult to know when they are so small. You are doing all good things – I was where you are now 4 years ago! – and trust that the Holy Spirit is working with you to touch their hearts. It is so good to talk about the faith when they are tiny people. They absorb so much and it truly becomes second nature. Keep fighting the good fight!

    • Thank you for stopping by, and for the encouraging words. I pray that it does become second nature to them, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the support from this amazing online Catholic community, I feel I can do this!

  2. You are a great mama! Baby Jesus has an appeal that no toy can compare to…
    Realistically, when my children came home with (too many) gifts from the extended family, I had them ‘give up’ one of their existing toys (or even one of the new toys) and donate to a needy child.

    Do not doubt yourself. You and your husband’s efforts will not go without reward. Truly you are giving your children the best gift EVER, your Faith.
    God bless you and your family!

    • I love the giving up old toys, not only does it help clear the clutter, but it teaches them to share their blessings with others! Wonderful idea, thank you!

  3. Oh my goodness yes it is ever hard to emphasize Christ over piles of clothes and toys! But the little extra traditions we do will have a lot of impact on our kids.

  4. Oh my children would have loved playing with a Little People nativity set! My youngest daughter is now 9 but she loved her Little People. Nativities and books are a great way to share the true meaning of Christmas.

    It sounds like you are building lots of family traditions your children will love, and look forward to repeating every year. Things we enjoy doing with our families stay with us forever. Yes, I reckon you’re doing everything right!

    God bless!

  5. My children have loved playing with their Little People nativity set. We usually have it on our coffee table, but this year we have a new puppy, who loves to eat the people. We have had to place it high up on a shelf.

  6. […] to hear about your small successes! Also don’t forget to check out all the great posts in the Advent link up. And watch tomorrow for a St. Nicholas Day […]

  7. Wow – adding a family Rosary in addition to special Advent devotions is impressive! Thanks for the reminder about Advent being the perfect time to look through the house for possible donations. And I really need to start taking things to St. Vincent de Paul rather than whatever thrift store is most convenient.

    • We attempted it last night for the first time. The 4 year old swung his rosary around like a lasso, and the 2 year old tried to eat hers! It was eventful to say the least, but just like taking the little ones to Mass each week isn’t always easy, it still needs to be done 🙂

  8. You sound like you are doing a great job mama and a wonderful inspiration to the rest of us. As a new Catholic and our first year to celebrate Advent/Christmas as a Catholic, I am finiding all sorts of new and wonderful traditions! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • So happy to hear you have joined us in this wonderful Catholic life! I hope you have found lots of inspiring Catholic blogs to read, and great tips on celebrating your first Advent! This online Catholic community truly is wonderful!

  9. I am looking forward to seeing the nativity set that you made.

    Charlotte

  10. I appreciate your mentioning how Catholic school aids your children’s Advent focus. Even if they could do better it is nice to have the work we do in forming our children’s faith affirmed and not diminished or ignored. Our school has the children pray Advent devotions during the day, which is a nice reminder from other adults about what Christmas is truly about! And with that as your foundation those piles of toys will not be where your little ones will find their joy. Advent Blessings!

  11. I completely agree with you that it gets harder and harder each day/year to focus on Christ and the true meaning of Christmas with soooo many distractions! You have beautiful traditions with your family which many are similar to ours! When I start to think my efforts to bring Christ into our family home do not seem fruitful, I think I need to trust more that God will bless any efforts I make. Have a blessed Advent!

  12. Hi Mo, you’re doing a great job sharing your faith with your little children when they request to pray the St. Michael prayer! It is so hard to keep Advent Christ centered when we live in a secular world. I think having a play nativity set around is meaningful. And participating in a Christmas concert is a great tradition to start with your children. Your comment about lack of Catholic identity is something I just experienced. My son is in a Catholic school, in eighth grade, and we’re trying to determine whether he’ll be going to public or Catholic high school. We toured two of them recently and one had a strong esthetic Catholic identity. Statues, icons, saint images, rosaries, crucifixes everywhere and I didn’t think much of it until we went to another coed Catholic high school and I felt like we were in a public school. Only signs of Jesus, Mary or saints was in the wing that had the chapel and religion classes. Even from the outside, it had a cross but it could have been any Christian faith. It was touring this one, that I realized how comforted I felt in the first boys Catholic high school. Just don’t want to send my son to a watered down theology to embrace all religions type of high school. If we choose Catholic, it must have the visual presence and BE it. Sorry, this comment turned out super long about my experiences touring high school.

    Keep strong teaching our faith to your children and God will bless and reward you abundantly!

  13. My kids are also in the Canadian Catholic school system (in Ontario) and although it’s not always as Catholic as I’d like…sometimes we are pleasantly surprised when the Christmas concert keeps the focus on Jesus. We actually started our family apostolate…making Catholic supplements for our Catholic kids. Catholic instruction can be fun and authentic. =) I love what you are doing with your own kids…looks like you’re doing a great job, fostering their Faith!

  14. Really glad to hear that your school does a Christmas concert. I teach in a Catholic school, and it seems like there hasn’t been as much of an emphasis on those kind of performances. When I was in school, they were required of all students, even though they were after school. Now, it seems as if they are thrown together at the last minute, and sometimes have little to do with Christ.

  15. Isn’t it wonderful when our Lord speaks to us through our children’s words and actions? I love when He chooses to reaffirm me that way. Wishing you many more such moments. God bless!

  16. […] Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH Canadian Catholic Mom            Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up Mountain of Grace Homeschooling      Keep Christ in Christmas Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ […]

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