Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We have set up a crib this year for our nativity statues and decided that the tv could be put somewhere else, in order to make way for the crib instead. This spot is directly under our main, family altar. It is the focal point in the family room.
I was inspired to do this when I saw a similar one last year ~ when I saw it I felt like an innocent child ~ totally captivated!
I found a beautiful asian crafted, leadlight star lamp a few months back, which had pink and purple points (advent colours) and a christmas green center ~ it was to be our Bethlehem Star above the stable.
The stable itself was made from Pine boughs that Francis (15) and I found in a pine plantation. Dh used a circular saw and cut all the boughs down the center, splitting each branch in two. Francis and I then glued and screwed the branches together to make our stable, I stuck some of the flaked off bark over parts where the timber had been cut, so no fresh, cut wood exposed.
I bought some beautiful, coloured star lights and draped them behind the crib and over the roof, where the stars fall through the roof here and there, creating a lovely floating effect.
We spruced up our Advent Wreath and decided to do a little bit more with the four salvation figures, connected to each week of Advent, thanks to Jenn's posting from last year. The first of the salvation figures is Isaiah. Immediately I think of Isaiah receiving the hot coal from an angel and so I found a lovely image of this scene and glued it to our wreath.
I used some gold stick on alphabet letters to place the name 'ISAIAH' across the image. I also wanted to plan our first Advent Sunday meal around the theme of 'Isaiah' and also around the first of the crib figures we wished to place into our crib...I decided on the angel that sits at the top of the crib. So the theme for our meal was angels and the burning coal given to Isaiah by the seraphim.
The idea of putting a theme to my meal came from a 4Real thread where I asked what were other lady's meaningful advent/christmas traditions. My friend, 'McChatty' said that her family placed a new figure in the crib each advent sunday and the theme for the meal was depending on the crib character.
So I decided on Philadelphia cream cheese with sweet chilli sauce poured over the top with rice crackers...representing the hot coal placed on the tongue of Isaiah by the angel.
The main meal was a spicy angel hair pasta. It was quite simple, 4 chicken rissoles diced, crutons, garlic and chilli mixed through the pasta with olive oil and parmasean cheese on top.
Here is our meal with a lovely side salad (we are in summer down under.)
Then for desert, Francis made his speciality ~ hot toffee ~ and that represented the hot coal placed on the tongue of Isaiah, everyone lined up for their first piece, happy to take it on the tongue like the prophet from the old testament! Nothing like hot, buttery toffee!
The first candle was lit during our meal and we said our prayers taken from Fisheaters I also read aloud about the life of Isaiah and his connection to the coming of the Messiah.
Afterwards, the child in our home whose first name is connected to angels had the honour of placing our angel onto the crib. We placed one of the lit stars behind his head, for a nice effect.
The children were completely taken with the beautiful atmosphere of this light drenched, beautiful nativity scene that we hope to build up, piece by piece throughout advent.
2nd Advent Sunday: Salvation figure: St John the Baptist ~ crib figurine: The shepherds and lambs. Meal ~ a lamb roast or shepherd's pie at this stage, not sure on dessert, maybe something to do with locusts and wild honey??
3rd Advent Sunday: Salvation figure: St Joseph ~ crib figurine: St Joseph. Meal ~ still planning.
4th Advent Sunday: Salvation figure: Our Lady ~ crib figurine: Our Lady. Meal ~ something Marian, still planning..