The new CANA International website is almost ready. We are doing the final checks before putting it online around mid-December, along with the next CANA Newsletter. While waiting for you to discover it, we have chosen to focus on the preparation of Christmas as a couple and as a family.

Christmas is coming: let’s revive our hope!

To prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus the Saviour during Advent, we have gathered Advent calendars from two countries, Germany and France. They are to be shared around you (children, brothers and sisters, neighbours, friends, parish…) as they will help couples and families prepare their hearts to receive the joy of Christmas.

It is up to you to choose what rhythm is most appropriate:

Each day as a family: a proposal from France

It is a real calendar where each day, on a pretty card, you will find the “word of the day” as well as an activity to live as a couple or together in the family. Young and old alike will find something to do.

You can print these cards and place them on a wall, a door or a cupboard… Let yourself be inspired! It’s up to you to share this calendar with others sending your request to this site.

Ask English version:

Each Sunday of Advent: a proposal from Germany

On this site you can discover the proposals to be lived as a couple or as a family and understand them easily thanks to which translates the texts into many languages for free, in a very simple way.

For the first Sunday of Advent, here is an example of a proposal to be lived as a family:

“We invite you to gather as a family, perhaps over a bowl of cocoa and cookies, in a beautiful place in the house. To set the mood, you can sing a song together that you love while a family member lights the first candle in the Advent wreath. Then start a conversation about how you would like to live this Advent season and note all that God has already given you today. Then each family member is invited to answer the question, “What has God already given me?” Or a little more specifically, “What is beautiful in my home?” and to answer it individually.

Making paper stars together, simple or spectacular

For example, we can make paper stars together:

Here are the detailed instructions following the video.

How to make your Star Poinsettia

What you need:

Your Star Poinsettia step by step:

1. fold one paper square diagonally.

2. fold diagonally once more.

3. cut the triangle on the folded side. Leave the tip of the triangle pointing up for orientation. Then you can cut about as many strips as you like across the bottom of the triangle (four or five strips is nice).

Caution. Don’t cut all the way through or the star will break.

Also, always leave equal space between each strip. This looks nicer.

4. When all the strips are cut, carefully unfold the paper.

5. Now glue the opposite corners of the strips together. Always alternate – glue the corners of the first strip to the front, glue the corners of the second strip to the back. Glue the corners of the third strip to the front, the corners of the fourth strip to the back again. And so on. In the end you will have a kind of lozenge with nicely shaped strips.

Repeat steps 1 to 5 of the instructions four or five times. In the end, you should have five or six lozenges in front of you.

6. Now just staple the finished lozenges together at one point. This will form the base of your star poinsettia. In order for it to hold together in the middle, it must now be glued together at the sides. Simply glue the wings of the individual side lozenges together.

That’s it. Now you can pull a thread through one of the lozenges and hang up your star poinsettia.

There is still time to make an Advent wreath

Making an Advent wreath is a great family activity to start the Christmas season. It’s up to you to choose its location as long as it is visible, accessible and easy to light or colour: centrepiece, prayer corner… In fact, you will light it every time the proposal of the day will gather the family…

Here is an excellent tutorial (video in French)

The Advent wreath, a sign of hope

Putting up an “Advent wreath” – an evergreen wreath with four candles – is a custom that offers us moments rich in tradition, filled with expectation and hope. The term “Advent”, which means “arrival” or “coming”, encourages us to stop and remember why Jesus came at Christmas. Traditions vary by country, but Advent calendars, wreaths and candles are very common ways to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

Ideally, any proposal for having a good experience during Advent should bring families together in a fun activity each December day and/or each Sunday of Advent, helping them remember why we celebrate the birth of Jesus in the manger. On the Advent wreath, the four candles symbolize the four Sundays of preparation for Christmas. The flame of the candles is a sign of the Christian’s hope and vigilance in waiting for the coming of Christ – that of Christmas, but also that of the end of time.

May this Advent wreath, which decorates the houses before Christmas, help us to decorate our hearts during this journey towards Christmas!

See you soon!