Advent at our house.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

For us, Christmas is so much more than reindeer and Santa Claus, holiday parties and endless cookies, spending lots of money on presents and getting a day off.  Christmas is a day that we get to celebrate Jesus being born on Earth; we get to remember that God came down as a lowly baby, to give Himself up for us, to die for us.  Christmas is a time that we get to reflect on the first coming of Christ.

In our house, we prepare for Christmas through Advent, a time in which we reflect on the arrival of Jesus.  The season of Advent traditionally begins four Sundays before Christmas, and is a season of hope for the coming Christ.  Advent is meant to raise our eyes to Jesus and give us a greater awareness of what God has done, is currently doing, and has yet to do.  For not only did Christ come as a lowly babe in a manger, but He has promised He will come again.  And advent serves not only to point us towards Christmas, but also to increase our hope and expectation for a coming King.  

The babes are still young.  We get that Ezra doesn't really have a clue what is going on, and Eliana only knows some basic information: Jesus loves her, He was born in a manger, and the reason we have Christmas and do all that we do, is to celebrate His birthday.  Even though a lot of what we do this year may not be remembered, we want to start setting traditions, habits, cornerstones in place for how we celebrate as a family.  We want Christmas to be special and meaningful.  

So, we do Advent at our house.

I made an Advent calendar, and we read an excerpt of an Advent devotional everyday.  The Advent calendar is pretty simple: I made little envelopes and decorated each one with a number for every day.  
Inside each envelope is an activity, so everyday we open one envelope and do our activity for the day.  We tried to make the activities fun for the kids (and us!), as well as have some that are meant to teach about giving or instill a family tradition.  Some of our activities: bake cookies, color a Christmas tree, read Christmas books, watch Elf, take cookies to neighbors, drive around and look at Christmas lights, drink hot cocoa with marshmallows, put change in Salvation Army bucket, etc.  

It's exciting to open an envelope everyday, and even though the kids don't understand much of it yet, it's such a beautiful time reading through the devotional each night, as we prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Do you celebrate Advent in your house?  Do you have any family holiday traditions?  How do you get ready for Christmas?

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4 comments

  1. This is one of the best I've seen on the web. Your advent is so simple but it's beautiful and I love some of those little traditions you are starting in the process. That will certainly be a way to ensure your kids understand a greater meaning behind the holiday!

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  2. This is beautiful. I would love to do something similar with Millie someday.

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