This year I was inspired by several new friends through church to start the tradition of advent with my little family. I’m not going to go all into it here, mostly because we’re probably not doing it 100% correctly…I’m still on a learning curve here. What I will share with you are a few pictures of the advent pieces I’ve added to our home this Christmas, and a basic overview of what advent is all about.
From “Celebrating Advent in the Home“…
Christmas has increasingly become a holiday cut off from its purpose of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is, therefore, important for Christians to recapture the season of Advent as a time for preparing for Christmas. An Advent wreath service takes only a few minutes each night, yet it can become a wonderful time to center oneself or the whole family with a nightly remembrance of Christ’s incarnation and promised return. It is a time to celebrate God’s promise to always be with us.
Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” Advent begins the church year, starting four Sundays before Christmas. The season of Advent has been set aside as a time of preparation for Christmas since at least the last half of the 6th century. Advent is a time for self-examination and asking for forgiveness as the church is preparing for Chist’s second coming even as it prepares for Christmas. This is why the color of the season is purple. The third week in Advent is set aside as more celebratory than the others. Rose is the color of this week.
The circle of the Advent wreath and the evergreens that make it up both signify God’s endless mercy and undying love. Each week, a candle is lit. As the light glows brighter, we are reminded that the Light of the World will soon arrive in glory. There is a central white candle, which is often larger and thicker. This relatively recent addition to the Advent wreath signifies the Light of Christ and is first lit on Christmas Eve and relit/burned on Christmas day.
Here is a picture of our Advent wreath…I couldn’t find the right colored candles so I used ribbon to signify the colors. (Obviously I’m not going to let them burn for long periods of time…)
The little figures set around are a nativity. Maybe when we have children we will set out a few pieces at a time, saving the baby Jesus for Christmas morning.
I also made this banner as our Advent Calendar. Each day has a tag with a short activity for Chris & I to complete together. The idea is to encourage families to spend time together during the busy Christmas season, celebrating the true reason for the season and enjoying one another’s company. I included church services & family events on our calendar, as well as smaller activities like “exchanging Christmas cards” and “drinking hot chocolate together.” I’m looking forward to our times of prayer and snuggling together!
I’m not super happy with where it’s hanging this year…but there just wasn’t a much better spot than this. You know how it goes sometimes…
Maybe you would like to incorporate a little bit of Advent into your own holiday season…if so, here’s the prayer for the first week (we’re in the middle of it now!) and verses you can read alone or together with your family. Be blessed!
Prayer for the first week of Advent
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Sunday: Matthew 25:1-13
Monday: Isaiah 1:16-18
Tuesday: Isaiah 60:1-3
Wednesday: Psalm 43:3-5
Thursday: Isaiah 58:6-9
Friday: 1 John 2:8-11
Saturday: 1 John 3:1-2
KEEP CALM & CELEBRATE JESUS!