Sunday, December 2, 2007

Advent Starts

Today marks the beginning of Advent season, which ends of course on Christmas Day, and is often described as having a dual nature. The focus of the season is the celebration of the birth of Christ the Savior in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.
Christians have assorted traditions and symbolisms to help themselves and their children stay focused on the spiritual meaning of Christmas. Things like Advent wreath and calendar, a continued story time of the Christmas story, caroling, a nativity, being "Jesus's hands" by finding things to do for others, various contributions, etc... It can be so easy to get caught up in extravagance and self indulgence during this festive month, especially if those you spend much time with seem to be swept up in the commercialism of it all. I once knew someone who would start a list the day after Thanksgiving, of all the things she planned to do to keep her family focused on Jesus through Advent since it would be the toughest time for them to stay focused.
As a kid, every December I would find the old caroling booklet that our church had once handed out and would spend a chunk of time almost everyday in my room just singing the carols over and over till I had many of them memorized by the time I was a teen. The Christian messages in many of them where little seeds of knowledge of what Christmas really is for, and may have helped prepare my heart to receive Christ as my savior. There were other things that played a part in that whole process, but it just goes to show what might influence our lives for the good. There is enough out there to influence us for bad without even having to think about it, so some little meaningful traditions seem like a good safeguard to keep our focus on the reason for the season. Does your family have some? I'd like to hear some of them.


Laura said...

Hi Linda! Thanks for stopping by my blog. And don't feel bad about being indecisive. I just made the realization that since I'm the one that started this Christmas Favorites thing, I probably have to pick them too and I'm really indecisive as well, so this could be interesting! :)

You asked about our favorite traditions, and this isn't really one from my childhood, but... one of my favorite traditions at Christmas is that our church gets a little tree and has tags hanging on it with gifts to buy for the veterans home, and also for families that are struggling. I have more fun picking out presents to bless them with than for anyone else. I love imagining them opening it and seeing the joy on the children's faces.

Just Another Day In Paradise said...

Hi Linda
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Sounds like you have a wonderful family. Good to know that their are other moms out there that come up with creative punishments. I'll be stopping back again soon.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

We just started attending a new church and they lit the first candle of the Advent wreath- I'd never seen that before and love the symbolism!


Cherdecor said...

I loved reading about your thought on the Advent. Our church lights the advent candle each Sunday also. I love the symbolism.

Thank you for sharing how you try to keep Christ in Christmas. Bless you!