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Advent Resources for Your Family

By Lisa M. Hendey
Catholic Online

You may have noticed Christmas decorations popping up in local discount stores, a precursor to the upcoming holiday season. For Catholic families, now is the time to be making preparations to celebrate Advent in our homes. Countless Advent traditions abound giving families the opportunity to choose and personalize a few favorites. Catholic publisher Pauline Books and Media, the publishing arm of the Daughters of St. Paul, makes engaging in time-honored Advent traditions more simple and accessible with their release of family friendly Advent products.

Jesse Tree - The symbol of the Jesse Tree sprouts from the prophesies of Isaiah. Traditionally, a tree branch is decorated with decorative ornaments symbolic of the "spiritual heritage" of Jesus. Pauline's Jesse Tree Kit by Lynn M. Simms and Betsy Walter makes creating a Jesse Tree in your home or classroom fun and simple. The kit contains an overview of the history and traditions of the Jesse Tree, pre-drawn ornaments to be colored, accompanying scripture verses for each ornament, an Advent prayer service guide and more. Whether you choose to decorate an actual tree, or to use the oversized tree posted contained in the kit, your children will enjoy watching scripture come to life as they create their tree throughout the Advent season. The Jesse Tree Kit perfect for children ages six through twelve and retails for $10.95. For more information or to order the Jesse Tree Kit, visit

Nativity Scene - Family Nativity scenes are typically "hands off" for young children as they may be breakable heirlooms. This year, help your children to create their own Nativity scene keepsakes with the aid of Make Your Own Nativity Scene by Clare Beaton. This all in one book contains fifteen adorably illustrated nativity figures to be colored and cut out. A six page recounting of Jesus' nativity introduces young readers to the characters of the Nativity and a glossary highlights special words in the story. The book's heavy cover transforms into a stable which will serve as home to your child's Nativity scene creations. Additional craft ideas are included. In my home, we display several Nativity scenes, but my most favorite are those hand-made by my children during their younger days. Beaton's Make Your Own Nativity Scene will help your children to bring their own hearts to the creation of your family's holiday decorations. The kit is designed for children ages six to ten and retails for $10.95. For more information or to order Make Your Own Nativity Scene visit

Feast of Saint Nicholas - On December 6, many Catholic families celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas, whom many credit with being the originator of gift-giving during the Christmas season. In some homes, shoes are left by the door and filled with small trinkets or treats. But who was the real "St. Nick" who has been transformed commercially by today's retailers? In Saint Nicholas: The Story of the Real Santa Claus author Mary Joslin retells the story of the beloved Bishop of Myra. Illustrations by Helen Cann make this book a true work of art that will become a family holiday favorite. Sharing the true story of St. Nicholas and the loving generosity behind his gift giving will help your children understand and embrace the importance of sharing with others during the Christmas season. School aged children will treasure this book, which retails for $14.95. For more information or to order Saint Nicholas: The Story of the Real Santa Claus visit


Lisa M. Hendey is a mother of two sons, webmaster of numerous web sites, including and Visit her at for more information.

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