Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season

still life with candle and gifts

I love this time of year… a time for focusing on the birth of Our Lord. As a new Catholic, the beauty of this time is even greater. In the past, Christmas, for the most part, ended with December 25th. However, the liturgical season begins with Advent {this year on December 1st} and ends with Candlemass {February 2nd}.

I’m still working everything out how we will celebrate everything, and it will probably change from year to year as I put new things into practice and figure out what works for our family.


{I’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013 sponsored by the Catholic Bloggers NetworkBe sure to visit as many links as possiblelisted at the bottom of this post.}

This year, to begin our season of Advent {the time of waiting and anticipation of the birth of Our Lord}, I have chosen not to put out our normal “Christmas” decorations and instead decorate in the color of Advent – purple.

We have a tree that we are calling our Advent tree, decorated with purple lights, a purple skirt and a few simple purple ornaments.


Advent Tree

We are also using our Advent Tree as our Jesse Tree and Each night we will add a new ornament as we work through the history and genealogy of Our Lord.

Jesse Tree


Day One of Jesse Tree


Our nativity sits empty, awaiting the Blessed Virgin Mary, her husband Joseph and the Christ child.

Empty Manger

The wise men are kept in the far off distance as they wait for the star that will show them the way to the King.

Wise Men

At the table sits the Advent wreath – decorated in purple, with candles that will be lit each night around the dinner table after advent prayer and devotional.

Advent Wreath

Christmas Eve, we’ll prepare for the coming of Our Lord by taking down the purple and replacing it with red, white, green and gold – the colors of the Christmas season. We will continue our celebration through the 12 Days of Christmas, The Celebration of the naming of Our Lord and Solemnity of Mary, Epiphany, the celebration of the Baptisim of Our Lord and then the end of the season at Candlemass {forty days after Christmas} celebrating the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple. New celebrations, new traditions, and new beauties of the season.

How do you celebrate this season?

Would you like to read how others are keeping Our Lord the center of this season? Check out the bloggers below:

Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas
Simply Homeschool Living Advent Series 12/1 – 12/25
Fifth of Five Keeping Christ in Christmas – Blog Link-up 2013
Coffee Moments with Sam The Light of Hope
Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition<
Open Window Making hay while the Advent wreath shines
Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas
Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual
On the Way Home: Keep Christ in Christmas
Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others
Mommy Bares All Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH
Canadian Catholic Mom Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling Keep Christ in Christmas
Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception 
Adoro Ergo Sum: How We Keep Christ in Christmas
JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Home to 4 Kiddos Keep Christ in Christmas
Embedded Faith Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas
City Girl, Country Home Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?
Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats
Joy of Nine9 Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child
Splendor in the Home Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy
Training Happy Hearts 10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year
Catholic Life Advent: The Beginning of the Liturgical Year & Source of Rich Meditations
Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus
Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas
A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas
Campfires and Cleats How We Keep Christ in Christmas
Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season
Homeschooling With Joy Keeping Christ in Christmas
Mrs Domestic Bliss Gingerbread Nativity
The Chic Traveller Keeping Christ in Christmas
California to Korea Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique’s Desk Keeping Christ in Christmas
Our ABC Life: An Advent Update
Journey Living: Anno Domini
The Road to Rome: Advent Prayer and Reflection Resources
Life of Fortunate Chances: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Quidquid Est, Est!: Reblog: Advent Posts

*This post is linked to several communities that I participate in. To see the complete list click here: Communities.

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39 Responses to Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season

  1. Chris says:

    Stunning photos, Chelsey! I love the advent tree/jesse Tree tradition. Lovely idea!

    Have a blessed advent!
    Chris recently shared..What Garlic Knots, Roof Surfing and the Beach Boys Have to Do With Advent~ Or: How Our Family Keeps Christ in Christmas Linky

  2. Erin says:

    Beautiful!! As a cradle Catholic I learn more each year!

    • Chelsey says:

      Erin, I know! So much rich tradtition and beauty. I want to just “do it all”, but it will be fun finding new things to do each year and building new traditions. I just LOVE our Faith. :)

  3. Stopping by from Carissa’s linkup! I love your beautiful Advent tree and I love the message your decorations are sending :) Hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving!
    Katie Elizabeth recently shared..A Christmas Giveaway!

    • Chelsey says:

      Thanks Katie and thanks so much for stopping by! That is exactly what my prayer is … that I would send a message to anyone who might happen to see our home … exactly what we are celebrating this time of year!

  4. […] Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season […]

  5. cyndi says:

    I love the purple jesse tree as well… I think its a wonderful way to bring Advent into our homes.

  6. […] Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season […]

  7. […] Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season […]

  8. Birgit J says:

    Welcome Home to the Catholic Church! Your celebration of Advent sounds lovely. We have distinct decorating styles at our home too. During Advent we decorate using a theme called ‘pre-tree’. It’s a mixture of Advent (wreath and such) and winter. The garlands are put up as well as decorative candle displays – can’t have too many candles, right? As the season progresses, we add to our decor. The tree goes up the weekend before Christmas (we host our extended families) and baby Jesus is placed into the manger on Christmas Eve. Wishing you a blessed Advent!
    Birgit J recently shared..Elf on the Shelf and Santa Claus – What are They Really Teaching Children?

    • Chelsey says:

      Birgit – thanks so much! I love the idea of slowly decorating for Chirstmas, that is neat! One of these years I would love to get a creche to have under the tree and then put baby Jesus in it on Christmas Eve/Morning! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  9. Mrs D Bliss says:

    Love the advent/jesse tree. What a great way to allow the children to decorate whilst keeping the focus in the right place!
    Like you I’m starting to establish advent traditions. I’m not a new Catholic, but I am a new mum; it gives you a different take doesn’t it?
    Welcome to the Church! I’ve just added you to my circles and I’m looking forward to following your journey!

    • Chelsey says:

      Mrs. D – yes you are so right! Being a mom kind of changes your prespecitve on things! :) So glad you added me! And thanks for stopping by! :)

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  11. Mitz says:

    Love the Jesse tree!

  12. Love your Jesse Tree ornament!
    Stephanie Kay recently shared..Reduce Stress with a December Menu Plan

  13. Yes, welcome home!

    I like how you mix the traditions of a Christmas tree and Jesse tree.

    • Chelsey says:

      Thanks Matthew. We love doing the Jesse Tree. Some years we’ve used an olive tree, some just a big branch we found in the yard. I love changing it up! :)

  14. Noreen says:

    Hi Chelsey, your pictures are beautiful! Did you make your Jesse Tree ornaments? Your purple tree is the perfect addition in celebrating Advent. If I had enough room, I would like a separate Advent tree. Do you slowly move your wise men around the room as Christmas approaches?

    • Chelsey says:

      Thanks Noreen! :) I did not make my ornaments. I actually got them from The Jesse Tree Treasure Shop. {clcik on the name and you can see the shop}. They are really well made and we love them! :) As far as our tree, what we are doing is on Christmas Eve we will take down the purple decorations and redecorate the tree for Christmas. We’ll leave it up then for the remainder of the Christmas season – probably through Candlemass. For the wsie men, we will start moving them around the room beginning on the first day of Christmas (25th) and they will reach their desination on Epiphany!

  15. Great photos! I like the idea of using the liturgical colors on the tree.
    Nathan (and Maria) recently shared..Top Book Recommendations on Catholicism

  16. Love your beautiful pictures and traditions! We also have an Advent Tree with purple balls. I love the purple lights idea and how you combine the Advent tree and Jesse Tree. I may have to try that since we have a separate Jesse Tree from our Advent Tree. Where did you get your beautiful Jesse Tree ornaments?

    You can email me at atsmith@ec(dot)rr(dot)com to tell me about your Jesse Tree ornaments in case I miss your response on here.

    As a cradle Catholic I always love learning something new about our beautiful faith! Thanks for sharing and helping me learn more!

    Have a blessed Advent!

  17. Matthew says:

    A lovely post! Be sure to participate in the Traditional Latin Mass for the many feasts to come. I for one find the Candlemas Liturgy in the Old Rite to be of exceeding beauty as we walk around in a candle lit profession that recalls the Heavenly processions we occur in Christ’s honor at all times. It’s also the day in the year I pick up my blessed Candles. And don’t forget about getting Blessed Chalk in the Feast of the Epiphany and using it to bless your home :-) Such wonderful traditions in the Catholic Church.
    Matthew recently shared..Evangelii Gaudium Observances from the SSPX

  18. LauraOinAK says:

    I usually wait to pull the Nativity set out until almost Christmas Eve, but love the idea of setting the stage through Advent.
    LauraOinAK recently shared..Digging Deeper in God’s Word With Devotions from the Torah #Giveaway #TorahDevotions #ProvenPath

  19. Hi Chelsey!
    I’m admiring those purple poinsettias!! Very unique! I’m with you on the purple decorations and not jumping into Christmas. And I love the idea of not placing baby Jesus into the nativity till Christmas. We do that with one of our nativities, but I just can’t stand seeing him missing for a month! It ruins my joy of seeing the nativity! -it’s just my personal preference! Do you feel that way? Hope you and your family have a blessed Advent and Christmas season!
    Jennifer @ Catholic Inspired recently shared..The Poor NEED Your Help! Please Donate! {Plus Art Link-up!}

    • Chelsey says:

      Jennifer, I love the purple! Yes, I totally know what you mean about that baby Jesus not being there, but honestly the more days I have had it out the more it has grown on me and I actually find myself waiting in anticipation for his arrival. It has been fun! I am so glad you stopped by! :)

  20. Your purple tree & wreath are gorgeous!!
    Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker recently shared..Schoolhouse Review Crew 2013 Curriculum Review Recap & Favorites

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