Advent is all about waiting in expectation, so it’s only fitting that I promise an Advent article and wait forever to post, right?! Well, wait no more.
For anyone who may not be familiar with this topic: Advent is a four-week season leading up to Christmas in which Christians celebrate the coming of Christ. We look back to the first Christmas when Christ was born to be the savior of the world, and we look ahead to His return.
PJ and I want to lead our children well in our celebration of Christmas. We are committed to making Christ’s birth the focus of Christmas, because without His birth, we would be devoid of hope and joy. This requires a sustained, intentional effort in the midst of hyper-commercialization and a busy time of year. It turned out to be so much harder than I anticipated!
Being the OCD planner that I am, coupled with my intense desire to do everything “the right way” as we form our family traditions, I started planning for Advent in September. I began here at this awesome blog, which became my main source of ideas. I also re-read Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper. Armed with these resources, I formed The Perfect Advent Celebration Master Plan.
How our family would celebrate Advent (in my mind, far from reality):
- From the beautifully wrapped pile adorning the coffee table, we select a Christmas book to unwrap and read each day.
- We spend time together as a family every day, doing a fun Advent-themed activity.
- Each night before bed, we have a lovely, peaceful time of family devotions in which we sing carols, memorize Luke 2, and discuss the mystery of the Incarnation.
- PJ and I read Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, a wonderful Advent devotional. While reading the thoughts of great Christians, we deepen our relationship with the Lord and each other.
How our family actually celebrated Advent:
- I got Christmas books, but neither wrapped them nor read them with the kids. (WRAP twenty books? Who am I kidding??)
- I made a calendar of fun activities. Then I remembered how crazy-busy our days were. I think we did two activities?
- We had a few family devotions. Emma tried to eat the Advent candles. Multiple times. While they were lit. She’s certain they are cake. Today, Brooklyn said she had no idea what we celebrate at Christmas. Sooo…there’s always next year?
- PJ and I made it halfway through the devotional. I may have fallen asleep in the middle of half of the readings that we actually did.
- The kids and I memorized about half of the Luke 2 passage. Harley recited it at a family Christmas, and he did a great job! Minor success! YES!
What I learned from our first year:
- Advent is an essential celebration. It is absolutely worth the effort to celebrate well. I really want to pass on a love for this special season to our kids.
- December is a really busy time. We will always be too busy to focus on Advent unless we properly prioritize it. To address this, I’ve scheduled for our family to take a vacation from school from Thanksgiving through the New Year. (Year-round school—another post, another time!)
- I’m really looking forward to next year!
So that’s it. Thoughts? Do you celebrate Advent? Do you have any ideas to share?