Category Archives: Advent
Well, Thanksgiving is over. The first holiday in the annual rush of winter celebrations has come and gone, and now it is time to start thinking of Christmas. This is a very busy time for our family. Thanksgiving means we can finally put up the Christmas tree, and Darren doesn’t have a witty remark when I am be-boppin’ around the house singing Christmas carols.
We have two birthdays and an anniversary that happen around this time every year. I know, you are probably thinking, “Duh, Bridgit… anniversaries and birthdays do that every year.” But these “special” days make me think about the very special day coming up in December, and the different ways we can choose to celebrate it.
I will admit that I get sucked into the wide-spread commercialism that is involved with a secular Christmas. It is especially hard not to think of Santa and his workshop when you live near a town called North Pole. I even played chauffeur to my daughter’s “Black Friday” shopping experience this year. But as I was sitting in the car, waiting for Agnes and her friend to come back with tales of pushy people and big bargains, I started thinking about how I could make a difference this year.
I remember the old Advent calendar of my childhood, and how I would love taking it out every year. We used the same one a few years in a row, until the little paper doors were falling off, and my mother would always remind me “not to peek” and “be careful” as I looked at the beautiful treasures behind each glittery number.
I remember searching for the right Advent calendar for my daughter when she was younger. I wanted to give her the sense of tradition of this wonderful time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the anticipation and discovery of each wonderful gift under the decorated flap. I wanted to make it mean something to her.
We always celebrated both a secular and a religious Christmas, although the former meant more when I was younger, and the later means more to me now. I grew up Catholic, so we went to Mass for a lot of holidays. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve was always, by far, the best! There were so many songs. We got to hold candles, and they turned out all the lights, save for the star over the stable scene. I even remember one year seeing Father D bring in the Baby Jesus, and place Him in the manger before we lit our candles and sang “Silent Night”. I knew who Jesus was, and what this Holiday was about, but it has just been the past few years that I have started to understand the true meaning of Christmas.
We have our little, simple Christmas tree in our living room this year. We have Santa on our door and well lit deer in our yard, but what are we doing this year to praise and glorify the God that gave us His most precious gift? How are we going to remember the One that was born to die for ALL our sins?
This year we have both a Jesse tree and Advent candles. We are going to spend time each day, as a family, in the Word. We are going to study the symbols of the Jesse Tree’s readings, and once a week, we are going to remember why Christ came, and celebrate in thanksgiving that He did.
I have been looking at so many sites about both of these ways to celebrate. I will post a list of links, if anyone cares to have a family Advent wreath or Jesse Tree. I will also try to post what scripture we are reading. The reading will be daily, but the posting, not so much… I will try to post the coming week, like a lesson plan, but I won’t promise.
Well, that’s all for now.
Ephesians 3:17-21 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (KJV)