Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Customs - Advent Calendar

Advent. I just like the word. Advent. It means important arrival and it's a time when I attempt to build eagerness and anticipation into my family for the coming of Christmas. Christmas. Christ's Mass.  Christ's celebration.

I read this quote yesterday:
The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected.
~Samuel Johnson
This resonates with me. A day set aside. A time to focus our attention. May I never forget that Jesus, though in the very nature God, He did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross!

Why? For the joy set before Him to justify many, to bear our iniquities.

To kick off our advent we begin the 25 days of Christmas today. I have been working on an advent calendar and I finally completed late last night:

Each envelope is decorated with the lyrics to a Christmas song and a number.

It's quite long, as you can see. It would only fit on my {bare} bookshelves. I'm saving the mantles for other things, as well as the staircase, so I couldn't use those. It does, however, keep the calendar down at their level.

This one has one of Grace's favorite Christmas/Winter songs:

The day's envelope is filled with an activity. Some are simple (like draw & color a Christmas picture or dance & sing to Christmas music) and some are more involved (like make gingerbread house or go ride the Pink Pig). And still others are seriously about giving to others (like delivering gift to neighbors or buying gifts for villages from Samaritan's Purse).

Along with each activity are notes from Ann Voskamp's A Jesus Advent Celebration Devotional. They have the verses for the day, a prayer and something to think about related, called "Unwrapping More of His Love in the World."

I'm looking forward to looking forward with my family. Do you celebrate Advent? If so, how do you do it?

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