The Advent Season
By Bree Young
The Christmas Advent Season has snuck up on me again. Just the other day it was November 1st and I was congratulating myself on how long I had to prepare for Christmas. In the blink of an eye December 1st arrived and now I am frantically online shopping (wait... should I order this? Will it arrive on time?) desperately trying to locate our advent season box, and buying premade cookie dough for all the Christmas parties I have to bring a dessert for ( I seriously feel great guilt over this). Sunday, November 29th was the first Advent Sunday. I almost stood up and gasped when I saw Pastor Larry light the first advent candle. I wanted to shout “Noooooo, stop! I am not ready!”
The Advent season: The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival”. This is the focus of the entire season, the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ. Advent is a season of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation and longing.
Family night at the Young house, when all is right in the world, falls on Saturday night. Family night can be a movie night, devotional activity, bowling, praying for each other, campfire, going out for supper….. you get the idea. We do all sorts of different things. The point is we do them TOGETHER. But together time is hard to carve out on the calendar, especially during December.
December Family nights are my favorite. Together we celebrate the Advent Season. We stop running and we snuggle, we reflect on Jesus, we take our eyes off our Christmas lists and we stop. As we carve out this special time, we have realized that our new normal in Summerland will change how we do Family Night in December. We don’t always have a full night, but we do have a few hours, so we will grab on to the time we have and celebrate this Advent season together. Even if we are starting late.
Because we are better together, let’s share our Advent Season Family Activities. I will start with a couple of ours:
25 Christmas books: 25 Christmas books wrapped each year. Each night we open one and read it together. I love the snuggles and laughter. (It has taken me years to purchase and weed out our favorites – If you would like the list I can email it to you). The library is also a good resource
Advent Wreath: I am still looking for this box, so this year we will wing it. I am married to a Pastor, he can pick the scripture. When the kids were little they made the wreath. It is not pretty, but it's made with love. It is in the missing box. Here are the main themes. We light the candle and read scripture. Usually we do this before we eat supper on Family night.
1st Sunday of Advent – The first candle symbolizes HOPE. We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep his promises to us.
2nd Sunday of Advent – The second candle reminds us that Jesus, the Prince of PEACE, came to bring us spiritual peace.
3rd Sunday of Advent – The third candle reminds us of the JOY we have in Jesus
4th Sunday of Advent – The fourth candle reminds us of the LOVE God has for humanity.
Christmas Eve / Christmas Day – The fifth candle is white, the Christ candle, to represent the purity of CHRIST, the spotless, sinless Lamb of God and of his coming.
We would love to hear how your family celebrates advent. Please leave a comment sharing one or more of your favourite traditions.