Advent is the time of celebration and preparation of the Christian church for the coming of the Christ. It means we prepare not just our homes and our trees but also our hearts to receive the gift of LOVE which was given to us.
For homes where Christmas is not so much a spiritual holiday it is often also a time of preparation for a time of giving and receiving gifts.
Today many of you broke out the little calendar with numbers from one to 25 with little chocolate treats behind the numbers to help count down the days to Christmas. I’ve been buying those little calendars for my Grandkids for 18 years. I hope Grandpa Bee remembered to get them delivered today because I am away and can’t do it.
In my home we had a special little calendar which hung on the wall where you could put candy and notes. The little mouse moves each day to the next spot. I recall a lovely 10 inch carved wooden tree I bought for my daughter and her family. It had a drawer for each day under the tree and an ornament was found in each of the drawers to hang on the tree.
The advent calendars may seem a little odd but I found them helpful when it came to the constant asking about “is it Christmas yet.” For children, to whom time is a new and illusive concept it gives some concrete way to measure the days and calms the excited hearts a little.
For me Advent began on Sunday when, in my church, we “hung the greens” and talked about many of the symbols of Christmas. It was a fun time of learning about how to prepare our hearts to receive the Christ child and all that means to us.
A thoughtful person at church who is on our Outreach Committee designed an advent calendar for us with ideas each day for reaching out and making the season better for others. A similar calendar can be found on The Ultimate List of Advent Family Activities.
In my own private preparation for Christmas it means taking time each day to read some scripture and a reflection in a wonderful book I have which includes the wisdom of St. Augustine. Today he reminded me God has no need of me but here I am anyway. What a gift that is.
There are hundreds of ways to celebrate the season and hundreds of reasons to celebrate the season. I hope you find your reason and a way to make it more meaningful for yourself, those you love, your community and the world.