The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. This year Advent begins Sunday, November 29.
During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward to anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.
Growing up in the Methodist church it was always a treat to see the lighting of the Advent candles each Sunday. Something about jewel-toned candles and the smell of the wax candles still brings back fond memories. This is the traditional representation of the Advent wreath:
I rounded up some clever ways to celebrate Advent – including a shopping list here for all my favorite Advent calendars available. You’ve got plenty of time to place your order and open the first door to reveal the treasure inside.
Here are some other ideas for a twist on the Advent candle…
And, there’s always the Advent calendar which teaches people of all ages to join with the church in anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ–the true meaning of the Advent season. They come in all shapes, sizes and varieties from traditional to modern. Miss Bee enjoys getting one each year that she can lift the numbers and a piece of candy is inside. Some calendars focus on doing a new activity each day with the family or acts of service for someone else. Be sure to visit my LiketoKnow.it here for inspiration.
There are all sorts of fun twists I found to create your own. I’ve pinned them to my “Feeding my Soul” Pinterest board.
Ann Voskamp has a “Night before Advent” activity on her blog full of fun games and activities to do with children including a printable Advent calendar.
And here are some more examples of clever ways to put together an Advent calendar.
I purchased this “Christmas Countdown” from Target years ago. You can slip these downloadable activity cards and candy inside each pocket.
How do you like to celebrate Advent? Do you have family traditions passed down through the generations that are special to you? I’d love to hear them so be sure to leave a comment!