Sunday, December 02, 2007

And so it begins

The season of Advent begins today. Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the Nativity, or the birth of Jesus.

John and I have been some thinking and praying about how to celebrate Advent this season with our children. Yesterday, I scurried around town trying to find an Advent wreath. I came up with a creative alternative, which I'll share with you later. Our plan is to light the appropriate candle(s) each evening during dinner, read scripture, then sing a verse or two of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. We'll begin tonight, and I'm looking very forward to it.

We have a couple of other things we'd like to incorporate into our Advent celebration. One is lectio divina during family devotion time (using the story in Luke), and the other involves the nativity set we have. I want to take some time this week to wrap Baby Jesus. The box we wrap him in will be the most beautiful box under our tree (I'm thinking something gold and sparkly and a bit extravagant). On Christmas morning, that will be the first gift we unwrap, because Jesus is the most beautiful gift we've ever been given.

We do have an Advent calendar, but honestly, it's kinda cheesy and has more to do with Santa and toys than the nativity. We're still going to use it (because I'm sentimental and my kids LOVE it) but I'm going to be on the lookout for something more meaningful to use in the future.

While doing some Advent research, I found this site which offers a beautiful daily Advent devotion. There are many free Advent resources on the web, but I thought this one was neat, and I'm going to try to make some time each day to visit there. I might possibly be able to use it with our kids too.

Do any of you have any Advent traditions you'd like to share...or any that you'd like to start?? If so, please share them with me.


Regular, with half and half and raw sugar said...

LOVE your Advent ideas. I'm going to "borrow" them.

Stephanie Kay said...

I've been thinking along the same lines. I have some book suggestions on today's post. If you find a nice Nativity-centered Advent calendar I'd love to hear about it!

I have vague memories of an "Advent Calendar" my mom made when we were kids. It was just a narrow piece of cloth with bits of the Christmas story on paper that was tied to the cloth. I don't remember it having much of an impact on my and my brother or being something I anticipated. I'm hoping to find something better for my kids.

Stephanie Kay said...

I forgot to add that for me I started Beth Moore's 90 Days with the One and Only. Naturally is starts with the Nativity. I expect to finish it near Easter (I know that's more than 90 days but I'm realistic about this!). = )

Scott said...

Those are great ideas. I want to be able to do the same when we have children.

*carrie* said...


Thanks for sharing. I've mentioned a book on my blog by Noel Piper, Treasuring God in our Traditions, that has great ideas, too.

Kecia said...

Oooh, Mer, I love the idea of wrapping baby Jesus and putting Him under the tree to open first.
We started having an advent wreath & candles a few years ago, and it's one of our favorite traditions now. Have you ever read "Two From Galilee"? It's fiction, but I love reading it at Christmas. :)

Kecia said...
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Dee Dee said...

It's so cool that you're celebrating advent. I bought a wreath last year at a local Catholic bookstore, but when I turned around, we had failed to light a single candle - tried not to have too much guilt! Anyway, we're doing better this year, and are reading a section out of Emma's children's Bible each week about the birth of Jesus. (Well, we've read one section since it just started!) After we read the story on the first night of the week, we ask the girls questions about it on the following nights. We do all this right when we sit down to dinner. It's been really fun, and they love it. They also like to turn out the lights so the candle shows up better!