by Christine Sine
Last week at our community meeting we made Advent jars, and filled them with ideas from our downloadable Advent in a Jar leaflet in preparation for the season.
Advent already you may exclaim. It doesn’t begin until December 2nd this year. Or you may ask: what on earth is Advent?
So lets start with a quick introduction or a refresher course for those who are familiar with the season.
Now that you understand about Advent let me confuse you a bit. I start celebrating Advent on the evening of November 15th – the beginning of Celtic Advent which starts on a fixed date 40 days before Christmas each year, mirroring the 40 days of Lent before Easter.
So now that you know what Advent is all about what are you going to do about it? This is such an important preparation for for our celebration of Christ’s birth and it is important to take time to find a focus and establish practices that help us fully enter into the season.
I suggest four steps (which I will talk about in more detail next week
In this post you might think that I have jumped ahead to the “reaper” step. However creating my Advent jar was a great meditative exercise to encourage me to think about what I want to see happen in my life during the Advent season, so it has invited me to pray, plan and prepare all in the one exercise. And I have cut out enough ideas to practice from Celtic Advent to Christmas Day and still have a few left over.
This is also a fun activity to do with kids and provides a context in which to talk to them about Advent and the coming of Christ.
Making an Advent Jar.
If you are not feeling very creative the simplest way to make your own Advent jar is to find a pint sized jar, cut out the first page of our downloadable leaflet using the “2 pages per sheet” setting place it and place it in the jar, like we show in the image above. This is a perfect size for holding the Advent ideas contained in the leaflet.
For those who want to make the creation of your Advent jar a fun and creative preparation for the season, you will need the following supplies:
1 pint or quart sized jar (we used Tassos olive jars from Costcos for this)
Spray paint (we used Krylon metallic gold and silver)
An empty cardboard box
1 roll self-adhesive Vinyl
1 pair of scissors
Cookie cutter molds
Self Adhesive stickers
Ribbons for decoration
Use the cookie cutter mold to cut out a fun shape or several shapes on your vinyl roll. If you are particularly creative you might like to draw a shape of your own for this step.</span>
Stick the vinyl shape(s) to your jar. Make sure they are pressed down firmly or the paint will run behind the vinyl.
Set up your box outside in a well ventilated area for spraying your jar – this helps avoid getting mess all over the place.
Turn the jar upside down in the box and spray it evenly. You might like to do this in two parts, allowing the paint to dry on one side then turning it around to spray the other.
Allow two hours for the jar to dry completely before the next step.
Remove the vinyl.
Decorate your jar with stickers.
Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar.
Cut out the Advent in a jar ideas,
Place them in the jar and enjoy.