Another tradition that Nazareth House Apostolate continues during Advent is that of pinning a tiny silver bell (one that actually rings) in the sleeve of the left arm of our clothing (the left arm because it is closer to the heart).
The bell represents the bell on the donkey that Mary rode into Bethlehem, ringing with every step the donkey takes.
With the bell hidden in the sleeve, every time we move our arm we hear it’s tiny tinkling ring. Every ring reminds us that this is Advent and Jesus is coming. The bell has a very gentle non-offensive sound and can be worn all day, wherever you are.
There are other traditions from around the world. Catherine Doherty is well known for reviving many holy Christian Traditions. Nazareth House Apostolate recommends her book: “Donkey Bells”
In Seraphim’s family, an empty creche was placed in the living room. A box filled with 2 inch strands of golden yarn sat next to it.
Every time a family member performed a good deed during Advent, they took a strand of yarn (representing hay) and placed it into the manager creating a soft bed for the Child Jesus to lie in. In other words, the place that Christ comes to rest in is our good deeds.
They were encouraged that the good deed and the placing of the yarn (hay) into the creche should be done in secret. “That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”- Matthew 6:4