Several years ago I wrote THIS advent post and featured some of our favorite books. I know that I shared what Advent was, but Advent is so special to us, I wanted to dive back into more details on why it is so important to participate each year.
Here are some of the books that we dive into.
- We Light the Candles
- Christmas Carols for A Kids Heart
- Jotham’s Journey
- Bartholomew’s Passage
- Tabitha’s Travels
- Ishtar’s Odyssey (New this year-EEK!)
- The ADVENTure of Christmas
- Advent Storybook
- Advent in Narnia (New this Year-Another EEK!)
- Watch for the Light: Readings For Advent and Christmas
That is just a small drop in the bucket- we do our Christmas Around The World Study throughout December and into New Years and we read a LOT of books!
Advent is the start of Christmas. By definition, Advent is the coming of our Savior. This celebration begins four Sundays before Christmas and continues throughout Christmas. Technically, we celebrate it until January 6th, which is Epiphany.
Technically, the Christian season of Christmas lasts 12 days, beginning on Christmas and continues until January 6th (i.e. The Twelve Days of Christmas). The time before the Christmas Season is Advent. Advent is a Season of Preparation for Christmas. During this time, Christians prepare their heart for the birth and second coming of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Christians prepare their hearts and remember how much the Jews longed for a Messiah. We as Christians long for his second coming even as we celebrate His first coming, which is His birth at Christmas.
What I mentioned above about the Twelve Days of Christmas and Advent may sound odd. It may be strange to imagine this season called anything but Christmas time. It was somewhat strange for me, also. As a child, we did not celebrate Advent. In fact, I never heard of Advent until I was an adult and began research on my own.
I had a happy childhood full of wonderful Christmas memories. Christmas was my favorite time of year and my mom worked very hard to always make it special for us.
So why did I make the switch and decide to participate in Advent?
While my childhood was very happy and full of wonderful Christmas memories, I longed for more. It wasn’t a lack of contentment issue. I believe it was more of a spiritual issue. Although I grew up in a home with loving parents, my dad was not, and is not, a Christian. So while my house was happy and my mom worked hard to make Christmas special, it wasn’t overly religious. Oh trust me, my mom taught us the real meaning of Christmas, we always attended church and participated in the Christmas plays. However, at home it was pretty secular in our Christmas celebrations. The church I grew up in did not have Christmas Eve church services and also didn’t recognize Advent. It wasn’t until my cousin began attending Catholic mass that I realized people attended church on Christmas Eve. However, Christmas Eve was also the night we had our family celebrations. Of course, this shifted once my cousin attended mass regularly on Christmas Eve as she would be late for our Christmas Eve dinners. Once I began attending college, I attended a larger church in town where Christmas Eve services were held. All I can say is WOW! These services helped me to see how special Christmas Eve is!
As I learned more about Advent, I knew that using that time to prepare my family’s hearts for the birth and coming of our Savior would only make this time of year so much more special! I have noticed in the last 10 years that Advent has been growing in leaps and bounds all around the world! When we first started participating in Advent, it was rare to find someone who wasn’t Catholic participating.
One of the reasons that I enjoy Advent so much is the decline of Jesus at Christmas and the increase of worldliness. It seems that even Christians are more focused on buying gifts than recognizing the giver of ALL gifts nowadays. Christmas has become such a time of hustle and bustle and absolute business. Adding in Advent gives us a chance to pause, slow down, and reflect on what the Season is truly about. Give it a try, I bet you fall in love with it just as we have. 🙂
I spoke about having an Advent wreath in a post I did a few years ago. This year I learned about a local couple who makes Advent Wreaths! Here is a bit about them:
This is directly from the maker himself, Joe Moore. “The wreaths are 18”- 20” mounted on a wood base sitting on three 1” wood ball legs. The four candle cups are securely mounted inside the wreath deep enough that they are unseen. The cup for the Christ candle is in the center. My wreaths come with a complete set of advent candles and a devotional guide that can be used in the traditional manner (4 Sundays before the week of Christmas) OR it can be used each day the week of Christmas. I sell the wreaths for $22. Of course, if I have to ship I would add the cost of shipping. Also, I should add that pine cones, ornaments or berries can be added to the wreath. My purpose is not to make money but to get the wreaths into homes where Christ can become the focus of the Christmas Season. You can visit our FB page Advent Wreath to see some pictures. I have about 100 wreaths in inventory.” I ordered a new Advent Wreath from Joe this year and cannot wait to get it! I just LOVE supporting small business, and I hope you all will support Mr. Moore too! You can send emails inquiring about the wreaths to [email protected] Their Facebook page is located HERE.
Now for the FREEBIES! I would love for you to subscribe for my freebies. All you have to do is go to the top and enter your email address. Once you do, make sure to check your email and confirm. I am offering two freebies this time. One is a calendar of faith-based Christmas books for Advent that begins December 1st. The other calendar features books that are family favorites, but more secular in nature, which also begins December 1st. As always, what one family will read may not be for another, so fill free to tweak the calendars in a way that works best for your family. Personally, we do the books off both lists. If you are interested in that, just download both to have on hand. Click Advent Christmas Books Faith for the faith-based and Advent Christmas Books Secular-4 for the secular. Again, you can also download them both. I just ask that you do subscribe. Thank you!