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Share Your Holiday Traditions – A Giveaway!

This past Sunday was the first day of Advent and whether or not Advent fits within your family customs, the time leading up to the Winter Solstice and Christmas is a good time for contemplation, going within and working through unresolved issues in your heart.

In the Waldorf tradition, the weeks leading up to Advent are celebrated by creating reverence for each of the four different kingdoms: stones (earth), plants, animals and mankind.  There is something about this holistic look at this time of year that speaks to me so deeply and I do my best to use this time to dig deeper spiritually.

There are many traditions and customs during this season that families, schools and churches recognize.  Advent wreaths are often used with candles that are lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas time.  Baking cookies, lighting a menorah or adding an ornament to a Jesse Tree each day are other traditions that come to mind.

My family has begun our own unique traditions that I’ve shared in the Advent and St. Nicholas Festival E-Book such as our Advent Kindness Clock which includes a little act of kindness that can be done each day leading up to Christmas.

We also created a beautiful Advent Wall Spiral where my daughters place a special star each day of Advent time.

I would love to hear about the traditions and customs in your family this time of year.

In the comments section below, share with us your family traditions leading up to the Winter Solstice and Christmas.  On the second Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 9th), in the evening, we will randomly choose three winners to receive a FREE copy of our Advent and St. Nicholas Day Festival Book or another of your choice!  Be sure to check back here to see if you won.

Good luck!
xoox

49 thoughts on “Share Your Holiday Traditions – A Giveaway!”

  1. I love reading about everyone's traditions! In our home, our Advent traditions include drawing activities from a calendar everyday (we brainstorm & write them down together at the beginning of the month), and a tradition of wrapping our Christmas books, and opening one each day to read together. We also do a winter nature table, and light a candle at dinner every evening. Finally, we celebrate solstice with a family bonfire where we share our hopes & goals for the year to come.

  2. I love reading about everyone's traditions! In our home, our Advent traditions include drawing activities from a calendar everyday (we brainstorm & write them down together at the beginning of the month), and a tradition of wrapping our Christmas books, and opening one each day to read together. We also do a winter nature table, and light a candle at dinner every evening. Finally, we celebrate solstice with a family bonfire where we share our hopes & goals for the year to come.

  3. I love reading about everyone's traditions! In our home, our Advent traditions include drawing activities from a calendar everyday (we brainstorm & write them down together at the beginning of the month), and a tradition of wrapping our Christmas books, and opening one each day to read together. We also do a winter nature table, and light a candle at dinner every evening. Finally, we celebrate solstice with a family bonfire where we share our hopes & goals for the year to come.

  4. my kids enjoy opening their paper advent calendar each day and discovering what the new picture is. we also have several favorite story books that have a continuing story for each day of advent. we have a manger that the kids can make a bed for baby Jesus by cutting a small piece of yellow yarn every time they are "caught" doing something kind for another family member. advent candle ring as well. we are celebrating st Nicholas and st lucia for the first time this year, so not sure yet about them!

  5. my kids enjoy opening their paper advent calendar each day and discovering what the new picture is. we also have several favorite story books that have a continuing story for each day of advent. we have a manger that the kids can make a bed for baby Jesus by cutting a small piece of yellow yarn every time they are "caught" doing something kind for another family member. advent candle ring as well. we are celebrating st Nicholas and st lucia for the first time this year, so not sure yet about them!

  6. my kids enjoy opening their paper advent calendar each day and discovering what the new picture is. we also have several favorite story books that have a continuing story for each day of advent. we have a manger that the kids can make a bed for baby Jesus by cutting a small piece of yellow yarn every time they are "caught" doing something kind for another family member. advent candle ring as well. we are celebrating st Nicholas and st lucia for the first time this year, so not sure yet about them!

  7. Our children adore reciting their verses and adding items to the nature table. We also light a candle weekly on our wreath. It is a special time to reflect and be thankful! What a beautiful time of year it is.

  8. Our children adore reciting their verses and adding items to the nature table. We also light a candle weekly on our wreath. It is a special time to reflect and be thankful! What a beautiful time of year it is.

  9. Our children adore reciting their verses and adding items to the nature table. We also light a candle weekly on our wreath. It is a special time to reflect and be thankful! What a beautiful time of year it is.

  10. As a child we celebrated the season with Advent Calendars my mom made for each of us. It was a felt Christmas Tree where we would pull out one felt ornament out of the numbered pockets and slowly decorate the tree. We also lit the Advent wreath every night. I now have an Advent Wreath I do with my kids, more of a Waldorf style than the Catholic style I was raised with, and I do an advent calendar that consists of envelopes where the kids might get a new Christmas book or surprise but usually its a card that commits to doing things together or for others that particular day. For example,we bake cookies, take homemade gifts to neighbors, do random acts of kindness, make a Christmas craft together, or go out driving and look at the Christmas lights. We also visit a local museum each year that has a festival of trees. All trees are donated and decorated with a theme. They are then auctioned off. The day we visit, they also have school choirs come in and sing very beautiful Christmas songs. It's a wonderful day we look forward to every year.

  11. As a child we celebrated the season with Advent Calendars my mom made for each of us. It was a felt Christmas Tree where we would pull out one felt ornament out of the numbered pockets and slowly decorate the tree. We also lit the Advent wreath every night. I now have an Advent Wreath I do with my kids, more of a Waldorf style than the Catholic style I was raised with, and I do an advent calendar that consists of envelopes where the kids might get a new Christmas book or surprise but usually its a card that commits to doing things together or for others that particular day. For example,we bake cookies, take homemade gifts to neighbors, do random acts of kindness, make a Christmas craft together, or go out driving and look at the Christmas lights. We also visit a local museum each year that has a festival of trees. All trees are donated and decorated with a theme. They are then auctioned off. The day we visit, they also have school choirs come in and sing very beautiful Christmas songs. It's a wonderful day we look forward to every year.

  12. As a child we celebrated the season with Advent Calendars my mom made for each of us. It was a felt Christmas Tree where we would pull out one felt ornament out of the numbered pockets and slowly decorate the tree. We also lit the Advent wreath every night. I now have an Advent Wreath I do with my kids, more of a Waldorf style than the Catholic style I was raised with, and I do an advent calendar that consists of envelopes where the kids might get a new Christmas book or surprise but usually its a card that commits to doing things together or for others that particular day. For example,we bake cookies, take homemade gifts to neighbors, do random acts of kindness, make a Christmas craft together, or go out driving and look at the Christmas lights. We also visit a local museum each year that has a festival of trees. All trees are donated and decorated with a theme. They are then auctioned off. The day we visit, they also have school choirs come in and sing very beautiful Christmas songs. It's a wonderful day we look forward to every year.

  13. Marian's sounds very similar to mine!

    I have an Advent calender AND A NATURE TABLE a wool angel moved a little bit more downwards each day before I woke up, moving down towards a creche with Mary and Joseph and some animals. Each night I lit the Advent wreath, said a verse (nonreligious, actually, one about light '

    The gift of light we thankfully take
    But not shall it be alone for our sake
    The more we give light
    The one to the other
    It shines and gives light (life) a growing still further

    WE sang many songs after lighting the candle/s and saying the verse. Then I placed a shiny little golden metal star on the nature table, slowly building a path to the crech (I think).

    Sometimes there was a red ribbon with walnuts glued to it and inside each walnut was a (plant, mineral, etc depending on which week of advent) and I opened one each night, I believe. Like an advent calender but opening the walnuts and then placing the item into an advent garden (believe it's a mossy garden made in a cake pan?) Sometimes instead, those items were wrapped in white tissue paper, tied with golden thread, and strung above the nature table creche scene and I opened one package each night rather than one walnut.

    Besides Advent, I also left a shoe out for St Nicholas (I had a painted wooden one from Holland!) and awoke to treats. (Golden painted walnuts and clementines among the most important ones), as well as a scroll from st nicholas reflecting upon my actions during the previous year.

    For Santa Lucia, community singers visited shortly after bedtime an white, one with the wreath of lit candles upon their head, sang , and left a beautiful cookie. In second grade (waldorf) we wore the typical white tunics with red sash and one student wore the crown. we went from class to class singing and giving out cookies.

  14. Marian's sounds very similar to mine!

    I have an Advent calender AND A NATURE TABLE a wool angel moved a little bit more downwards each day before I woke up, moving down towards a creche with Mary and Joseph and some animals. Each night I lit the Advent wreath, said a verse (nonreligious, actually, one about light '

    The gift of light we thankfully take
    But not shall it be alone for our sake
    The more we give light
    The one to the other
    It shines and gives light (life) a growing still further

    WE sang many songs after lighting the candle/s and saying the verse. Then I placed a shiny little golden metal star on the nature table, slowly building a path to the crech (I think).

    Sometimes there was a red ribbon with walnuts glued to it and inside each walnut was a (plant, mineral, etc depending on which week of advent) and I opened one each night, I believe. Like an advent calender but opening the walnuts and then placing the item into an advent garden (believe it's a mossy garden made in a cake pan?) Sometimes instead, those items were wrapped in white tissue paper, tied with golden thread, and strung above the nature table creche scene and I opened one package each night rather than one walnut.

    Besides Advent, I also left a shoe out for St Nicholas (I had a painted wooden one from Holland!) and awoke to treats. (Golden painted walnuts and clementines among the most important ones), as well as a scroll from st nicholas reflecting upon my actions during the previous year.

    For Santa Lucia, community singers visited shortly after bedtime an white, one with the wreath of lit candles upon their head, sang , and left a beautiful cookie. In second grade (waldorf) we wore the typical white tunics with red sash and one student wore the crown. we went from class to class singing and giving out cookies.

  15. Marian's sounds very similar to mine!

    I have an Advent calender AND A NATURE TABLE a wool angel moved a little bit more downwards each day before I woke up, moving down towards a creche with Mary and Joseph and some animals. Each night I lit the Advent wreath, said a verse (nonreligious, actually, one about light '

    The gift of light we thankfully take
    But not shall it be alone for our sake
    The more we give light
    The one to the other
    It shines and gives light (life) a growing still further

    WE sang many songs after lighting the candle/s and saying the verse. Then I placed a shiny little golden metal star on the nature table, slowly building a path to the crech (I think).

    Sometimes there was a red ribbon with walnuts glued to it and inside each walnut was a (plant, mineral, etc depending on which week of advent) and I opened one each night, I believe. Like an advent calender but opening the walnuts and then placing the item into an advent garden (believe it's a mossy garden made in a cake pan?) Sometimes instead, those items were wrapped in white tissue paper, tied with golden thread, and strung above the nature table creche scene and I opened one package each night rather than one walnut.

    Besides Advent, I also left a shoe out for St Nicholas (I had a painted wooden one from Holland!) and awoke to treats. (Golden painted walnuts and clementines among the most important ones), as well as a scroll from st nicholas reflecting upon my actions during the previous year.

    For Santa Lucia, community singers visited shortly after bedtime an white, one with the wreath of lit candles upon their head, sang , and left a beautiful cookie. In second grade (waldorf) we wore the typical white tunics with red sash and one student wore the crown. we went from class to class singing and giving out cookies.

  16. We make an Advent wreath at church with other families, and each family takes their wreath home to be lit throughout the season. We also have an Advent calendar with little pockets. I put slips of paper in each pocket with an "activity" for the day. These range from riding around in our jammies and looking at Christmas lights in town with a Thermos of hot cocoa to visiting shut-ins with homemade cookies. We also like moonlit hikes, watching "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, and making Christmas bird and squirrel feeders for our friends in the yard.

  17. We make an Advent wreath at church with other families, and each family takes their wreath home to be lit throughout the season. We also have an Advent calendar with little pockets. I put slips of paper in each pocket with an "activity" for the day. These range from riding around in our jammies and looking at Christmas lights in town with a Thermos of hot cocoa to visiting shut-ins with homemade cookies. We also like moonlit hikes, watching "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, and making Christmas bird and squirrel feeders for our friends in the yard.

  18. We make an Advent wreath at church with other families, and each family takes their wreath home to be lit throughout the season. We also have an Advent calendar with little pockets. I put slips of paper in each pocket with an "activity" for the day. These range from riding around in our jammies and looking at Christmas lights in town with a Thermos of hot cocoa to visiting shut-ins with homemade cookies. We also like moonlit hikes, watching "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, and making Christmas bird and squirrel feeders for our friends in the yard.

  19. We have lots of traditions. Our challenge this year is to do the essential without losing my sanity, since we are also expecting a new baby any day now! We light an advent wreath, with Bible readings and part of a hymn each night (from the small book We Light the Candles by Catharine Brandt). St. Nicholas visits and leaves gifts in the shoes. Leading up to Epiphany we move the Wise Men closer to the nativity each day, and then the wise men leave a small gift. The children give a "Christmas present to Jesus" by choosing a gift for a child their age to donate. We read Madeleine L'Engle's The 24 Days Before Christmas (and many other shorter books as well).

  20. We have lots of traditions. Our challenge this year is to do the essential without losing my sanity, since we are also expecting a new baby any day now! We light an advent wreath, with Bible readings and part of a hymn each night (from the small book We Light the Candles by Catharine Brandt). St. Nicholas visits and leaves gifts in the shoes. Leading up to Epiphany we move the Wise Men closer to the nativity each day, and then the wise men leave a small gift. The children give a "Christmas present to Jesus" by choosing a gift for a child their age to donate. We read Madeleine L'Engle's The 24 Days Before Christmas (and many other shorter books as well).

  21. We have lots of traditions. Our challenge this year is to do the essential without losing my sanity, since we are also expecting a new baby any day now! We light an advent wreath, with Bible readings and part of a hymn each night (from the small book We Light the Candles by Catharine Brandt). St. Nicholas visits and leaves gifts in the shoes. Leading up to Epiphany we move the Wise Men closer to the nativity each day, and then the wise men leave a small gift. The children give a "Christmas present to Jesus" by choosing a gift for a child their age to donate. We read Madeleine L'Engle's The 24 Days Before Christmas (and many other shorter books as well).

  22. Hello!
    We live in Australia so for we will be celebrating the summer solstice!
    I've created an advent calendar from felt so we could count down the days to the solstice. It's a tree and they add on a leaf everyday which has a number on it, that's how we count down. Underneath I put a little table with a cover and I've made a couple of summer ferries to put underneath and a few other things to create a little summer soltstice scene. During the weeks to suolstice we'll be singing songs (from your midsummer festial ebook :)) and we will be making suncathcers, stepping stones and decorating saltdough decorations, etc. And I created some solstice treasure stones whith a sun and a positive word painted on them that the girls will find. It's going to be fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Hello!
    We live in Australia so for we will be celebrating the summer solstice!
    I've created an advent calendar from felt so we could count down the days to the solstice. It's a tree and they add on a leaf everyday which has a number on it, that's how we count down. Underneath I put a little table with a cover and I've made a couple of summer ferries to put underneath and a few other things to create a little summer soltstice scene. During the weeks to suolstice we'll be singing songs (from your midsummer festial ebook :)) and we will be making suncathcers, stepping stones and decorating saltdough decorations, etc. And I created some solstice treasure stones whith a sun and a positive word painted on them that the girls will find. It's going to be fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hello!
    We live in Australia so for we will be celebrating the summer solstice!
    I've created an advent calendar from felt so we could count down the days to the solstice. It's a tree and they add on a leaf everyday which has a number on it, that's how we count down. Underneath I put a little table with a cover and I've made a couple of summer ferries to put underneath and a few other things to create a little summer soltstice scene. During the weeks to suolstice we'll be singing songs (from your midsummer festial ebook :)) and we will be making suncathcers, stepping stones and decorating saltdough decorations, etc. And I created some solstice treasure stones whith a sun and a positive word painted on them that the girls will find. It's going to be fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. We live in Sweden and celebrate with advent calendars, St Lucia, reading stories such as Elsa Bescow Peter and Lottas Christmas, Christmas trolls story of being kind and loving, baking pepparkakor

  26. We live in Sweden and celebrate with advent calendars, St Lucia, reading stories such as Elsa Bescow Peter and Lottas Christmas, Christmas trolls story of being kind and loving, baking pepparkakor

  27. Lisa Bonney Berry

    So far we have no Advent traditions, and just this year are really learning about it! Two years ago I bought one of those advent calendars with windows to open for chocolates, but not going to do that again! I'm trying to learn quickly so we can start some advent traditions!

  28. Lisa Bonney Berry

    So far we have no Advent traditions, and just this year are really learning about it! Two years ago I bought one of those advent calendars with windows to open for chocolates, but not going to do that again! I'm trying to learn quickly so we can start some advent traditions!

  29. Lisa Bonney Berry

    So far we have no Advent traditions, and just this year are really learning about it! Two years ago I bought one of those advent calendars with windows to open for chocolates, but not going to do that again! I'm trying to learn quickly so we can start some advent traditions!

  30. We decorate a fir advent wreath with red candles and ribbon and we light the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent with Christmas music playing in the background. We then light the second candle on the second Sunday, and so on. We will also have some biscuits and hot chocolate or similar. Advent was a special time for me as a child and I want to recreate this for my son. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. We decorate a fir advent wreath with red candles and ribbon and we light the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent with Christmas music playing in the background. We then light the second candle on the second Sunday, and so on. We will also have some biscuits and hot chocolate or similar. Advent was a special time for me as a child and I want to recreate this for my son. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. We decorate a fir advent wreath with red candles and ribbon and we light the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent with Christmas music playing in the background. We then light the second candle on the second Sunday, and so on. We will also have some biscuits and hot chocolate or similar. Advent was a special time for me as a child and I want to recreate this for my son. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Christmas and advent is my favorite holiday time and I tend to include many things ๐Ÿ™‚

    Having grown up in Europe I have held on to many of the advent traditions I grew up with. We do an advent wreath (and have adopted the focus on the four kingdoms as we have discovered Waldorf). We have advent calendars, put out shoes for St. Nicholas (both at home and at school), make lussekatter (Lucia buns) at home and celebrate St. Lucia at the children's Waldorf school. The children have their advent spirals at school. We also watch a short daily episode of an advent tv series (I know, not very Waldorf) that I grew up with in Norway. We like to try to find a classical Christmas concert to visit some time in December as well. Reading Christmas stories and doing Christmas crafts are also part of our days in December.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  34. Christmas and advent is my favorite holiday time and I tend to include many things ๐Ÿ™‚

    Having grown up in Europe I have held on to many of the advent traditions I grew up with. We do an advent wreath (and have adopted the focus on the four kingdoms as we have discovered Waldorf). We have advent calendars, put out shoes for St. Nicholas (both at home and at school), make lussekatter (Lucia buns) at home and celebrate St. Lucia at the children's Waldorf school. The children have their advent spirals at school. We also watch a short daily episode of an advent tv series (I know, not very Waldorf) that I grew up with in Norway. We like to try to find a classical Christmas concert to visit some time in December as well. Reading Christmas stories and doing Christmas crafts are also part of our days in December.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  35. Your traditional are beautiful. As a child we had an advent wreath we lit but I didn't really understand why. Now we have an advent calendar, and put a list out for St. Nikolaus Tag but otherwise don't celebrate.

  36. Your traditional are beautiful. As a child we had an advent wreath we lit but I didn't really understand why. Now we have an advent calendar, and put a list out for St. Nikolaus Tag but otherwise don't celebrate.

  37. Your traditional are beautiful. As a child we had an advent wreath we lit but I didn't really understand why. Now we have an advent calendar, and put a list out for St. Nikolaus Tag but otherwise don't celebrate.

  38. We sing lots of songs, read lots of Christmas books, talk a lot about what Christmas means to us. This year we're starting the tradition of an advent spiral, which I'm very excited about! Great giveaway – thanks!

  39. We sing lots of songs, read lots of Christmas books, talk a lot about what Christmas means to us. This year we're starting the tradition of an advent spiral, which I'm very excited about! Great giveaway – thanks!

  40. We sing lots of songs, read lots of Christmas books, talk a lot about what Christmas means to us. This year we're starting the tradition of an advent spiral, which I'm very excited about! Great giveaway – thanks!

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