Doing simple crafts, such as Nativity cutouts, with no other goal than sharing the experience helps us to learn about each other, ourselves and our faith.
Doing simple crafts, such as Nativity cutouts, with no other goal than sharing the experience helps us to learn about each other, ourselves and our faith.
" Focusing on faith and family helps us to better enjoy the holiday and each other. "

Advent wreath-making. Homemade Jesse Trees. Creating Merry Christmas cards for deployed servicemen and women.

Such are common activities children and families work on together in the Advent season – crafts that not only encourage service and faith learning, but family bonding, too.

“Focusing on faith and family helps us to better enjoy the holiday and each other,” said Mary Britanak, coordinator of faith formation in St. Barnabas Parish, Bayville. “The interaction with children doing simple crafts with no other goal than sharing the experience helps us to learn about each other, ourselves and our faith.”

Indeed, when they mirror God’s love, families bring needed values and a humanizing spirit to society, Pope Francis has preached. In fact, he calls the bond between Church and family “indissoluble.”

Britanak says Advent is the perfect time to share what is important – time with each other – especially in today’s fast-paced society.

“When I see the stress families are under to ‘do, get, have,’ we really need to allow ourselves to go back to the basics. We need to see where we come from, why we are here and that the Lord has been with us throughout,” Britanak said.

Advent-based crafts, books and projects in the weeks before Christmas can help families do just that, through joint learning and sharing, she said.

And for those types of activities, she added, “the internet is definitely a good thing! There are so many free sites with terrific ideas for simple crafts, coloring pages [and more!]”