Friendly reader Kathy inquired about the Advent teas that have kind of evolved over the last few years. It's down to a fairly good formula now but I still am having trouble gathering it all in one post. These aren't elaborate celebrations. We have a simple refreshment, perhaps a small activity, some liturgically appropriate music, we light the candle and pray together. Advent is a hectic time of year for everyone, but with our ballet obligations it's become increasingly difficult and increasingly important for us to carve out just a few moments of peace together. That being said, I will try to post about our plans the week prior on Wednesday. So here are our plans for week one:
Menu: Tea, shortbread, oranges. The first Sunday usually falls very near the feast of St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, hence the shortbread. I make a pretty darn good shortbread myself, but my son prefers the Walkers Christmas shaped shortbread. As it was one of the few cookies he could eat for the first 5 years of his life, we defer to him. He looks forward to these all year.
Activity: Pomanders which simply require cloves and oranges (and maybe a thimble). These adorn our Advent wreath.
Little Treat: To emphasize the concept of watchful waiting, I package a single paper white bulb for each of my children to watch grow through Advent. I also try to have the last batch of bulbs in the fridge by the first Sunday of Advent to plant on Epiphany and enjoy in February.
We will also read a selection or two from our Christmas books. I just grabbed All for the Newborn Baby and A Medieval Christmas from the stack. These will all be repeated several times through the month.