Our Advent readings have been super simple. We read a passage out of the Bible and say a few sentences that I found on the internet, ask a question, light the candle, and pray. I’m super surprised, that even though I think there’s no way Jacob is taking any of this in, that when he walks by the advent wreath, he says “the first candle is for hope, the second candle is for prepare, the third candle is for J-O-Y.” They are listening and internalizing things. We are planting seeds and it’s a hard work.
We’ve done a few other “christmas” activities: we went downtown to two hotels that have christmas displays to check them out. They were a bit of a let-down after we had pictures in our head that we found on the internet from years past. Jacob and I made play-doh Christmas trees and used pony beads to decorate them.
This year, we’re going to take part in the tradition of the advent candle lighting. This fulfills two things for us in having traditions centered around the true meaning of Christmas without it feeling like a daily checklist of things to do. Our culture tells us this season is about activity and stuff- and those can be good things. We’re still buying gifts and doing the things. It’s just not the focus.
The focus is that this season is about waiting, about anticipation, and celebrating the birth of Jesus. Without His birth, we wouldn’t have His death or resurrection and that changes everything.
Jim and I had a date night over the Thanksgiving holiday since we were in our hometown and had grandparents to watch Jacob. We went to Hobby Lobby and for $18 got the things we needed to make our advent wreath for this year. However, the green wreath we picked out isn’t going to work (let’s just say the words “fire hazard” are involved) so we had to go to plan B. That meant, cutting out a circle of construction paper (to protect from the dripping wax) cutting off some low branches from our Christmas tree and making a “wreath” around our candles. We just bought a pack of candles and tied the necessary ribbon around them.
Since we were out of town, we had every intention of starting our candle lighting tradition on Wednesday. But a bought of sickness for me and Jacob and long 12+ hour days for Jim at work postponed that. So, we’ll just do “both” readings this Sunday and go from there. We’ll light a new candle on Sundays, as is tradition, and re-light them each evening during dinner.