Keeping Christ in Christmas

Just one more Advent post, mmmkay, friends?  Then I promise to bore you with all sorts of other mundane life details.  (Maybe I’ll even work on finishing my birth story series this month.)  Today I’m linking up with the Catholic Bloggers Network for Keep Christ in Christmas.  More info at the bottom of this post.

Last week in my 3 Reasons I Love Advent post, I mentioned that I love the traditions we’ve adopted for this season.  Since I’m a highly visual person, I thought I’d share our traditions the way I love to do it best: in pictures.

Our Advent Traditions in Photos

SONY DSCThis is my very favorite statue of the Holy Family.  I love how Joseph is embracing Mary.  He looks as protective as I imagine he was in real life.  What an enormous task he had as the Guardian of the Redeemer.  I like to think of him that way, as a warrior in his own right, protecting the Theotokos (mother of God) and of the Savior himself.









Jesse Tree Collage

Clockwise from the left: 1) We bought a small bush/tree (the species escapes me now) to serve as our Jesse Tree. 2) Day 1 ornament: “a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse.” 3) The ornament we made for our Jesse Tree ornament exchange. (This particular one I made to send to a very special blogger who just announced some very special baby news.)  4) A gift from my sister in law in Korea.  There are 24 booklet ornaments that you read during Advent.  We have decided to add them to our Jesse Tree.  Also pictured: in the lower right corner of the tree picture you can see our basket of books.  It’s pretty empty now, but we’ll add books from our stash as we go.  Also, a little bird told me St. Nicholas is bringing books for the kids this year.

SONY DSCThis is our Advent wreath.  Today I tried to add fresh garland instead of the faux stuff, but alas: a florist I am not. So we’re keeping the fake stuff I bought years ago.  One thing you may notice: we have Korean-style Advent candles.  They begin dark and get lighter each week.  I bought them last year in Korea and they survived a trans-pacific move and a summer in the hot rafters of our garage, so I’m taking that as a sign.  We have a little pamphlet of prayers for each day of Advent and we sing this child’s song every evening at dinner.

SONY DSCHere is our latest addition to the Advent candle frenzy.  Purchased by my beloved mother in law the same day I mentioned wanting one, we’re now the proud owners of a Cradle to Cross Wreath.



Last, but certainly not least, we have this lovely reusable Advent calendar given to us by my mother in law 2 years ago.  (She really is the best.)  The kids helped me put small candies in the pockets today and we hung it up near the kitchen (the better to prevent candy theft).

One final note: I want to point out that I do all of these traditions because I really love them.  My goal in sharing these photos certainly isn’t to inspire envy or to make anyone feel as if they aren’t doing enough.  (Trust me: I am truly holiday-challenged in most other aspects/seasons of my life.) If you celebrate Advent in your heart, regardless of the activities you do, you’re doing it right.  Wishing you all a blessed Advent!

“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.



  1. Great pictures, and yes I have tried fresh garland, and no, it did not work out.
    Rebekah Es recently posted…Real Barefoot Beach RunMy Profile

  2. As a visual person myself, I enjoyed your pictorial post. We use the same booklet Advent calendar and hang each one on our ‘waiting tree’. After seeing yours, I must now procure a Cradle to Cross wreath!
    Birgit J recently posted…Elf on the Shelf and Santa Claus – What are They Really Teaching Children?My Profile

  3. Michaela, I love zee pictures. Is there a photography tutorial here somewhere?

  4. Great idea putting the figurines of the H.F. in the Advent wreath

  5. Joseph is wonderful isn’t he? A lovely reminder to all women going through an unplanned pregnancy that God will provide as well.

  6. Love this. I have the same Cradle to Cross wreath as well. I’m not using it this year, but we’ll use it during Lent/Easter season. I just don’t have a great place to put it this year but I love using it! 🙂

  7. Such beautiful pictures and traditions! I didn’t know Korean Advent candles were a bit different than other Advent candles! And I have a fake stuff on my wreath too. I’m not a florist either! 🙂 Have a blessed Advent!
    Tracy Bua Smith recently posted…Celebrating St. Nicholas Feast Day 2013!My Profile

  8. this is a great post – I love all the pictures! especially the first one of your holy family statue. I will have to read a few more of your advent posts, I am curiosu to see how your advents in korea may have differed from your advents stateside.
    lauren recently posted…Anno Domini 2014 – Happy New Year!My Profile

  9. Thank you for sharing. I have never seen a candle to cross wreath before. God bless

  10. I love that cradle to cross wreath! And, how neat that the candles for your Advent wreath get lighter through time.
    LauraOinAK recently posted…Digging Deeper in God’s Word With Devotions from the Torah #Giveaway #TorahDevotions #ProvenPathMy Profile

  11. I love the Holy Family statue! There’s always been a healthy debate over St. Joseph as an old or younger man, but I like the idea of him not being that old, making him stronger and more able to get up and leave Bethlehem with the angel’s warning.


  12. Hi Micaela, I can see why you love your holy family statue. It is unique and beautiful! I agree with the others, you take lovely pictures that clearly shows your devotion to Advent. You have a wonderful mother in law who buys you faith enriching gifts. May God bless you this Advent Season.

  13. You have an eye for beauty! Your pictures are just wonderful!! May you have a blessed Advent and Christmas Season!
    Jennifer @ Catholic Inspired recently posted…The Poor NEED Your Help! Please Donate! {Plus Art Link-up!}My Profile

  14. Love the pics! Thanks for sharing!!
    Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker recently posted…Schoolhouse Review Crew 2013 Curriculum Review Recap & FavoritesMy Profile


  1. […] UPDATE: Click here to see photos of our Advent traditions. […]

  2. […] that same time, I participated in a Jesse Tree ornament swap.  I made 35 St. Joseph ornaments (pictured in this post), mailed them off and a couple weeks later received a whole collection of […]