Intro to Advent

DIY Advent wreath title 2Image Credit: House for Five

Advent is the first season of a new church year. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.

Quite frankly, I’ve only ever associated the word “advent” with Christmas countdown calendars (usually the cardboard ones with little doors revealing chocolate). This form of counting is a great way to build anticipation for Christmas, and you can bet my kids will be savoring their shared Advent calendar.

But for Christians, this is a time to prepare for the birth of Jesus, to reflect and acknowledge our gift of salvation through Him.

One of the most traditional ways to celebrate this season is with an Advent wreath. Here’s the ELCA Lutheran PDF file on Advent wreaths, which covers all the symbolism–including the rationale behind a recent widespread switch to royal blue candles. (Short version: this symbolizes hope, longing, and royalty.) This website explains the more traditional color scheme of pink and purple and includes a detailed description of how to light the candles.

At a minimum, I’ll be creating and using an Advent wreath with my children. As an intro, we’ll watch the Whirl kids celebrate. We’ll also memorize this (very) simple song to learn what all the different candles mean.

I’m also intrigued by LecFamily’s Photo-A-Day Challenge and family devotional activities. I want to see how much of this I can incorporate while feeling joyful, rather than burdened, by the prospect!

How do you celebrate Advent? Do you have any great resources to share?