as Advent wreaths
HULA HOOPS are being turned into Advent wreaths this week as schools are trying to prepare children for the real meaning of Christmas—the coming of Christ to today's world.
Instead of just dwelling on a nostalgic return to the First Century, schools tired by the catechetical movement are teaching their pupils to receive Christ today as He appears in all people of the world.
First they are asked to make a spiritual gift for "peace on earth", second a material gift for those in need.
At St. Malachy's junior school, Halifax. a hula hoop normally used for physical education has been entwined with evergreens, suspended by purple ribbons and set out with four purple candles.
The older children are told to discover the meanings of the symbols. then to explain them to the younger ones.
CIRCLE FOR ETERNITY The circle stands for eternity, the evergreen for the unchanging nature of God, the purple ribbons and candles for the call to penance and sel f-sacrifice.
Each week an additional candle will be lit by a child speaking a prayer based on the Collect of that Sunday.
The school is using other traditional symbols on a "Jesse Tree". tracing the geneology of Christ. A half eaten apple, symbol of Adam, is stuck on the roots, above that a sword and kindling wood for Abraham and Isaac, carpenter's tools for St. Joseph and a lily for our Lady. At the top is a ChiRho, symbol of Christ.