Are you ready for the Christmas season? Advent tradtions can be one of the most enriching observances of the holiday. Many of us take time to go shopping (probably more than we should, or even want to!), we bake our cookies and make candy, we deck the halls, and the walls, and the railings! But it is the spiritual riches of this season which give us the most peace and cheer – hallmarks of Christmastime, and which surround it with the beauty and joy that are unique in the world.
How many times are people heard to say how disappointed they are in Christmas celebrations? If you are like me, you hear that from people all the time. Is it because of too many devotions or meditations on the Christmas story or the principles of spiritual teaching within the gospel account of how Christ arrived in the earth? Not likely; at least,I have not come across anyone who complains about that.
The commercialization and shopping? These are at the top of the list.
The overwhelming busyness of cleaning the house, going to parties, and getting all the gifts wrapped? Those are struggles for many every single year.
The merriment becomes more like the madness of “Christmas”. Those who love centering on the wonder of Christ coming to earth, on the reconciliation message of good news, and the joy of God’s mercy and salvation are the ones who get more joy from the giving, while rejoicing in the peace and the hope of the holiday.
This Years Advent Tradition Theme
Which pathway do you wish to follow this year? Join me in taking a detour each day into the message of God hidden in everyday things. Yes, that is the theme for this year! “Everyday Christmas”. There will be an attempt to synchronize the devotional theme with the Jesse tree theme of past years, although you can use any revealed Advent day in any order that works for your own ways of celebrating Advent.
The dates for 2010 are November 28, 2010 through December 24, Christmas Eve. That makes 26 days, and means my family will put 26 candles in our Advent log. I chose ivory candles this year, just because I so admire the Scandinavian look of simple white or ivory candles in the wintertime. The traditional colors and meanings of the candles can be found on the “Colors and Symbols of Advent” page.
Time Honored Ways to Observe Advent Traditions
I grew up with the way many people throughout the world celebrate Advent traditions, using a simple wreath and four candles. Each candle represented one of the Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Would you like to make a simple, yet lovely wreath of the traditional four candles for each of the Sundays? The “Time to Prepare” post will guide you. An idea for ‘Potting up a Pretty Advent‘ might just be the idea you are looking for… easy and attractive, as well as movable, if you need to use the same table space for other activities during the holiday season.
Our Log of Candles
Our family began a tradition of the Advent Log about thirty years ago now. Read about the Advent log and what we do to celebrate, here. Every year we place one candle for each day starting from the Sunday celebration of the “Hope” candle until Christmas Eve.
I remember times in my childhood when my grandparents sent us high quality paper Advent calendars with little windows to open for each day to view a festive picture for each day. These are still offered for sale today.
Last year I happened on some fun ideas on Flickr… check out these for crafty people or those with little children who want something simple and festive. Advent Idea Gallery.
Even more ideas for Advent….
I hope you enjoyed these ideas on how to mark the time before Christmas with anticipation and celebration. I believe that any one (or more) of these Advent traditions will enrich your family’s holiday memories. Hopefully they will become a part of making sure your christmas has christ at its center.