With all of the commercialism surrounding Christmas it seems that too often our focus is not on CHRIST.
It begins on Black Friday (sometimes even before that) and culminates in everyone tearing into their presents on Christmas morning. We’re so busy with shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, and traveling, that we sometimes forget to create traditions that allow our children to soak in the meaning of Christmas.
When my children were young my husband I decided we wanted our holidays to be different. We’ve scaled back gift giving and don’t go crazy with decorations. We try to have just a few meaningful Christmas traditions that will hopefully live in my children’s lives forever.
“Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming”. It is a time of expectancy, a time of waiting for the birth of Christ.
We decided several years ago to have a piece of Advent left out year round. A piece that holds significance for us is a wood statue of Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus on a donkey. This statue was a gift from my father-in-law, and it sits on our mantle year round. It reminds us of that expectancy we should have the WHOLE year, not just during the season of Advent.
The Advent Wreath also is significant in our home. We light a candle each Sunday in Advent and light the final candle (the Christ Candle) on Christmas Day. This past year I left out the Christ Candle for the entire year. We light it every now and then, and it reminds us of the precious gift we have in Jesus.
(Learn how to make and use an Advent Wreath from Tommy Momy, Tara.)
Take time this holiday season to create meaningful traditions with your children. Be sure to start each day prayerfully (I like to read Grace for the Moment each morning) and ask God to guide you through a season that can all too easily go out of focus.
I pray you have a blessed Advent, and start thinking now about which piece of Advent you want to leave on display in your home for the entire year!
Mary is a former public school music educator and piano teacher with a bachelor’s degree in Music and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision. She is now a homeschooling mom of two who seeks to learn and share about all things education! Her days are filled with music lessons, baseball practice, church work, and the blessing of time with her precious children. She blogs at Homegrown Learners and is a member of the iHomeschool Network.