What is Advent?

Comment

I like to think of myself as proactive.  On-the-ball.  With it.  Not going to let a teachable moment go by.  That's me.  Well, that's what I like to think, anyway.  Truthfully, if I was all those things all the time you probably wouldn't want to be my friend.  (and I do so like you!)

This year for Christmas though, I want to observe Advent.  I want to teach my kids that there is more to Christmas than making Christmas lists, going to a Christmas Eve service, and opening gifts.

Do you know what Advent is?  I didn't until I started doing a little bit of research.  It turns out, lots of people don't know about Advent.  Lots of Christians, even.

I found this out-of-print book at the library by Maria Trapp (of Sound of Music fame).  My sister-in-law found it on Ebay and loaned me her copy.  Maria Trapp knew about Advent:
These weeks before Christmas, known as the weeks of Advent, are meant to be spent in expectation and waiting...This atmosphere of "hurry up, let's go" does not provide the necessary leisure in which to anticipate and celebrate a feast.
Maria knew how rushed we get.  How we can start to forget that Christmas is about a little baby come to earth.  A gift from our Father.  In her book she gives a few practical ways that Advent was observed in Austria.  She talks about Advent wreaths and nativities and giving gifts of sacrifice to Baby Jesus, the Christ-child.
Advent started on November 27th this year, but it's not too late to choose a tradition or two and implement them into the Advent season at your house.  The first time I did an Advent wreath I don't think we started until mid-December. Your kids probably won't remember that you missed a bit of Advent, they'll just remember that you did it.
I am running a series on my blog this month that includes some ideas on how to celebrate Advent and some resources. There's also a link-up for your holiday posts.  Please come by and Prepare for Jesus with us!