In our house, Christmas is a big deal. Decorations everywhere. Countdowns to the big day. Lots of excitement.
We’ve always stressed that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, even though we also have fun with Santa and elves and other holiday festivities. But this year, we wanted to do even more to stress the real meaning of the season.
This year, we’re going to celebrate Advent.
While Advent calendars have been a part of Christmas for me since I was a child (the kind with 24 doors and a piece of chocolate behind each door), the celebration of the coming Christ always was, too.
We want to get excited about Christmas. We want our kids to be excited–but we want that excitement to build for the right reasons, fun included.
For some reason, our church no longer stresses Advent. There used to be the traditional candles, readings, and scriptures on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, but that tradition stopped for some reason a few years ago.
(**I’m please to say that since this post went up, our church brought back Advent!! What a beautiful ceremony filled with so much meaning, hope, and joy. So glad we can enjoy it as a church family.)
I want to bring it back, if only in my own home. So Advent is becoming a new family tradition.
If you’d like to celebrate Advent in your family, here are some great ideas.
The word Advent is a derivative of the Latin “coming,” focusing on the coming birth of the Christ. Traditionally, the season of Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas. (For 2012, Advent begins Sunday, December 2.)
To celebrate Advent, you can focus only on the four Sundays of the season, or you can incorporate a daily reminder of the coming Christ child.
In our house, we’re going to do a daily reminder, and light the candles on the Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Here’s what you need to celebrate Advent:
Candles– traditionally 2 pink, 2 purple, 1 white.
An Advent candle holder (Advent ring).
Scriptures to use during the celebration.
**I purchased my Advent ring and candles at Hobby Lobby. The ring was $9.99, the candles $4.99, with 50% off of each. I had some extra garland at home, so I wrapped it around the ring to make it a little more festive.
You don’t have to use an Advent ring or pink and purple candles. Advent is about the preparation of the heart, so any candles will do.
Scriptures: I found a great site that helped me with the scriptures and focus for the lighting of the candles each Sunday.
For daily focus, I found these great printable verses.
Extra Advent Fun
I pray that your family will receive joy and blessings as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior!
Share with me: Are you adding any new holiday traditions this year? Do you have any other ideas on celebrating Advent?