Making family traditions – celebrating Advent together

We light one candle shining bright
Upon this Holy Advent night
Fill our hearts with loving might
Lead us to Christmas Day’s brilliant light!

candle-2

This Sunday marks the first Sunday of Advent, or as we know it in the family, ‘gnomie’s advent’.

When we were little we would wake up on this Sunday morning to discover a  wonderful new world had arrived in front of our eyes – sometimes on a table top, sometimes set on a shelf within a book case. With swathes of cloth making a beautiful sky and a mossy grass seat for the lovingly handmade gnomes our wonderful mum had created for us, the Gnomes were set at work amongst our earths treasures of crystal and rock. It was a very special discovery to have as a little one, and it has been such a precious gift that we have been able to pass onto our little ones now that they are looking around their world in wonder and delight.waldrof-winter-nature-table-crystal-gnome

So this weekend let’s celebrate all things in our earthly Gnome realm! Here’s a song to march to together as we take a walk this weekend looking for other special rocks and stones to add to your Advent display:

gnome

March of the Gnomes
Ho, ho, ho, we gnomes all walk in a row (march in a circle)
Ho, ho, ho, we gnomes all walk in a row
We hammer and knock the stone and the rock (use arms to hammer)
Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho!
We hammer and knock the stone and the rock
Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho!

 

There are some really beautiful gnomes available to buy these days, with so many skilled crafty people about, but if we want to have a go for ourselves, there is a wonderful tutorial for a felted gnome here: http://www.lauraleeburch.com/2010/11/needle-felted-gnome-ornaments-tutorial/

gnomes-1-e-450x299

What else may we do to celebrate this first Advent? We are lucky enough here in the midlands to be close to a German Market which has become part of our Advent family traditions, and of course, as the children become a little older, and more outward facing and interested in our extended friends and family across the world, our family traditions shift, become added to and enriched with our experiences.

When we were fortunate enough to visit the historic city of Krakow this summer, we also learntkrakow_advent_market about the way that Advent is celebrated here too, and it made us want to be there!  On the first Sunday of Advent, the beautiful city square “Rynek” gets decorated with fir boughs, garlands, Christmas trees, and twinkling lights and booths are set up for their Christmas Market.

So, after a visit to the local Christmas market what next? Of course! The Advent Spiral.

Last year full of cold and poorly family we made a beautiful spiral out of cloths on the snug floor, but the year before we were able to meet with friends and sing together as the children young and old walked towards the Christmas light.

advent-spiral

Looking ahead in our family Advent picture the gnomies will be joined by their friends the mermaids and water fairies, then the butterflies and fairies of light and air, and finally the fire fairies warm and bright.

What are your Advent family traditions? Do share! Wishing us all a very happy Gnomie Advent x

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