Christmas, ahh don’t you love it! The presents, the tree, the food, the fun and the priceless excitement in your children’s eyes on Christmas morning. It is a spectacular time of year. During all of the hoopla it is easy to loose sight of the real reason we are celebrating Christmas, which is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I wanted my daughter to experience the same excitement she does for Santa as for Christ and more! This year I made it my goal that we acknowledge Jesus and the significance of his birth during the days leading up to Christmas. So I decided that Advent would become one of our holiday traditions. Anya seems to love it and I encourage you to try it with your own kids.
Here is some background and what you’ll need for Advent.
What is Advent
Advent means, “the coming or the arrival.” It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. This year it began on November 28th. During the four weeks leading up to Christmas we celebrate the gift God gave us his son Jesus Christ our Savior! We take those 24 days to rejoice, reflect and praise that fact that God blessed us with his son. Advent is a time to reflect on how significant this gift to us as believers.
What do you Need for Advent Wreath Tradition?
1. A Wreath- the wreath is a circular garland of evergreens. The circle of the wreath represents eternity. You can buy the wreath that has the candle holders in them or you can just buy the candle holders separately
2. 5 Candles- You’ll light one candle every week and then all five on Christmas Eve or Day. The 1st 4 candles go outside of the wreath and the 5th candle is placed inside the circle.
1st Week- Purple Candle- represents Hope often called the Prophecy Candle
2nd Week- Purple Candle-represents Peace it is often called the Angel Candle
3rd Week- Rose Candle- represents Joy and is often called the Shepherds Candle
4th Week- Purple Candle- represents Love and is often called the Bethlehem Candle
White Candle- represents Christ
How do you Celebrate?
This is the fun part! Each Sunday you light one candle that represents that week. You may want to light it during mealtime. I suggest lighting the same candle every day during dinner. Read a verse of the bible for example, the 1st week is prophecy read Isaiah 9:1-7. Discuss how Jesus’ birth was God’s prophecy. Then say a prayer thanking God for Jesus.
The second week light the second candle and so forth until Christmas Eve or Day and then light all five candles, this leads to lighting the white candle representing Christ and celebrating his final arrival. During the weeks that lead up to Christmas, read to your children the story of the birth of Christ, discuss the role each person played, and talk about the characteristics and virtues of those at the manger that blessed day. Pray after each discussion and play games by asking them questions about Advent. Seek out passages in the bible that represent the meaning of each candle.
You may want to start an Advent notebook or scrapbook. This is a great way to record the prayers you use, the verses, and even take some pictures! When they’re all grown up they can use the scrapbook for their own children!
Advent is a wonderful tradition to introduce your family to and to keep them focused on Christ. Throughout the month I’ll pass on some other Advent traditions I’m starting with my daughter. I’d love to hear your ideas!
Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved