“For, first, the birth of Christ was the incarnation of God: it was God taking upon himself human—a mystery, a wondrous mystery, to be believed in rather than to be defined.” — Charles Spurgeon
Advent is such a treasured part of our year. To put it simply Advent is a time of expectant waiting. The word advent means coming or arriving. We observe Advent to celebrate the first coming of Christ into the world. It’s an opportunity to savor and spend intentional time focusing our hearts and minds on Christ. A time to celebrate the wondrous mystery of Immanuel, God with us.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3) God in human flesh. Not only did Jesus bring God’s word to us, He has revealed God to man. He is the Word and He has brought the Word to us.
We use an evergreen wreath to symbolize the everlasting love from our Father and eternal life that Jesus brings. The candles represent the four weeks leading up to Christmas. It always begins four Sundays before Christmas and through Christmas Eve. This year Advent begins on November 29, 2020. My hope each advent season [and all year long] is that our hearts and minds are fixed on Him, rejoicing in His first advent and longing for and anticipating His advent.
“You see, the Advent story reminds us that our past, present, and future hope rest not on our willingness, but on the willingness of the One for whom the angels sang, the shepherds worshiped, and the magi searched. Willing Jesus is the only hope for unwilling sinners!”
― Paul David Tripp
Today, I have joined some sweet friends from Instagram to share a little blog hop for Advent with you all. I am going to share how our family celebrates the advent season and I hope you’ll check out their Advent traditions as well.
Simple Ways to Celebrate
Create an Advent wreath. The circular evergreen wreath represents God’s infinite love for us and the hope of eternal life which is given to us through Jesus. A couple of years ago I stumbled upon an inexpensive and simple advent candle holder at a local craft store. We’ve used it every year since. It’s not fancy, but I love setting it in this old enamel bowl with some greenery and beeswax candles. I opt for natural colored beeswax [we like to roll our own. You can also go the traditional route and buy colored beeswax candles instead. While rolling your candles, listen to some Christmas hymns. Maybe you could incorporate a small lesson on the history of the advent wreath. I love this candle kit here.
Each Sunday we light a candle. The first Sunday we light the first candle, we PRAY and then READ a passage from the Bible, SING a song DISCUSS & REFLECT about what the scripture passage means to us. ASK your children simple questions in relation to the passage. We will read a passage on each day of Advent. We only light our candles on each Sunday, but you could light them each night if you’d like. I had created my own Advent study two years ago and this year with the help of my friend Jennifer, we created a digital download of it, you can see it here.
Buy or make an Advent Calendar – For the past several years I’ve crafted an Advent calendar. I’ve done little bags hung by clothes pins, I’ve done little paper bells with a verse written on the back, and last year I’ve opted to make my own fabric calendar. I used drop cloth to create numbered pockets. It was a small labor of love, but I really love it and plan to use it in the years to come. I’ve opted to tuck our Pip and J Papery Advent cards in each little pocket.
Read Books or Devotionals. We will be using our Advent study in the evenings as a family. During the day we will use our December Tea Time activities and our Pip and J Advent cards with our advent calendar. This year for my own personal devotional in the morning during my quiet time I’ll be reading Christmas sermons from Charles Spurgeon and The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper and possibly this one too, Joy to the World
This one from Paul David Tripp looks good too! Come, Let Us Adore Him
Create a Christmas Playlist and sing a song for each night. Here is my Spotify Playlist linker here.
Fun activities to do with kiddos – These aren’t technically Advent related, but still so fun to do during the Christmas season. Bake your favorite cookie recipe. We especially love cut out cookies and my person favorite my Grandmother’s Norwegian cone cookies. I have so much wonderful childhood memories making those cookies with my parents! Make salt dough ornaments or cinnamon and applesauce ornaments. We also love drying oranges to use for tree decorating and garlands! Cozy up and watch some festive movies. Breathe in the season and enjoy the small moments!
Share your joy with your community. A couple of years ago we started a new tradition, The Giving Manger. [linked here] A simple explanation is that you receive a book, manager and baby Jesus with straw. With each act of kindness you/your children add in a piece of straw. The idea is to fill the manger with the straw by Christmas, just in time for Jesus. I think this is such a simple and beautiful way to teach our children about kindness, giving, selflessness and the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a wonderful way to be share our love of Jesus to those in your community. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant, just simple acts of kindness done in love. We also love participating in Operation Christmas child. Our kiddos love picking out little presents to send to a couple boys/girls around the world. You can even track your box to see what country it ends up in! How neat is that?
Go caroling with a group from church or visit a live nativity – We’ve don’t both of these before and it was just seriously so fun and the live Nativity was so lovely!the Gal Down the Road The Little by Little Home The Homemaking Momma Twelve on Main Roots and Boots
Be sure to check back here in a few weeks, I’ll be sharing a blog post each Sunday during Advent. I hope you’ll take the time to visit here each week! Thank you so much stopping by today!
Love and blessings,