It’s officially the Christmas season! Many of you will be reading this post on what is known as Black Friday. Either you are shopping or decorating your home for Christmas. You know the Christmas carol that says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”? In all the “hub-bub” of the holiday craziness, I bet there have been moments when you and I both have wanted to ring that singer’s neck!
I’m ashamed to say that in the past I have even made the statement, “I’ll be so glad when Christmas is over!” Sad, isn’t it? Our world, me included, has made Jesus’ Birthday about us and our convenience. I’m happy to tell you that my “Bah Humbug” attitude changed when I rediscovered Advent.
Advent is a long-practiced tradition that has been celebrated in many homes and churches since the 1400’s. Advent starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving and lasts until Christmas Day.
The word Advent means “coming”.
In the month of December, our family celebrates the coming of Jesus to this earth. You really can’t do Advent wrong…
We keep an evergreen wreath with five candles on our kitchen table. Three candles are purple, one is pink, and in the middle of the wreath we place a large white candle called the Christ Candle.
Each Sunday in December we light a candle that represents an aspect of Christ’s coming to this earth, and for the rest of that week we light the same candle during our advent time.
The candles are as follows: Week 1-Hope (purple), week 2- Peace (purple), Week 3-Love (purple). Week 4-Joy (pink), Week 5-Christ (white). On Christmas Day we light the Christ candle and let it burn all day long.
This year I was thrilled to find a book called “A Family Advent” by Thomas Nelson Publishers (you can find it at any Christian Bookstore). It is a small devotion book that leads a family through the season of Advent.
As our children have grown our Advent traditions have changed. We try our best to have our Advent devotion right after dinner. It usually takes all of ten minutes.
The tradition of Advent is a daily reminder that Christmas is not about me, it’s about Jesus. You would be amazed at how different your mindset can be when you focus on Him and not all the busy complications that we create at the Holidays.
Why don’t you give Advent a try this year? It will change the way you do Christmas, after all it is Jesus’ Birthday!