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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our Advent Calender

Welcome to the first day of the Advent Season!

Advent is a way to prepare for the nativity of Jesus Christ. The word advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means waiting.

Several churches mark the advent season by using the liturgical colors of blue or purple on their banners, altar cloths, and vestments (religious clothing) Blue and purple signify hope and royalty.

Our church lights a candle on an advent wreath each week. 

For the first Sunday in Advent readings often relate to the old testament patriarchs and the first advent candle, that of hope is lit. On the second Sunday readings focus on Christ's birth in a manger and other prophesies. The candle of preparation is lit. The third Sunday, which is known as Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday features a rose colored candle symbolizing joy. The fourth Sunday is the candle of love. If a 5th candle is lit on Christmas Eve it is known as Christ’s candle and is traditionally white.

I have always had a daily advent calendar for my children. When they were small I would purchase pre made calendars from the bible book store. There would be a verse and a sweet treat behind each door. It has now evolved to setting aside time each day to spend together as a family.

Last year I devoted several days to create an Advent Calendar for Sweethearts. So many of you loved seeing the joy and delight in Mr. Décor’s eyes as each day I revealed something that showed him my love.

Sweetheart Elves Week 1

Sweetheart Elves Week 2

This year Mr. Décor will be traveling for most of December. What he doesn’t know is that I have wrapped up his calendar and hidden it under the clothes in his suitcase. It contains a love note each day until he returns to me. My hope is that this bit of vintage bliss will brighten up his hotel room and day.

 advent 031

For my children this year I have dusted off an early fan favorite. The advent calendar I made way back in 2009. As you may know my children (one boy, one girl) are a bit older and 12 years apart. So trying to come up with daily treats to please both was a bit of a challenge.

Here is what I came up with. Feel free to make it your own.

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My favorite days this year are:

Dec. 2nd: Read the story of “The White Envelope”. Decorate several white envelopes and put a few dollars in each. Place them in the car and randomly bless people in need that we see throughout the month.

You can read the story of “The White Envelope” HERE ~I have modified the idea to fit our family.

Dec. 18th: Bethlehem Dinner ~ I love the menu HERE.

[bethlehem.JPG]

Dec. 24st: Bake a birthday cake for Jesus

We have done this for many years now and always include these elements in our cake. Pinterest has several images of “Jesus’ Birthday Cake” to inspire you. I adore the elegant simplicity this cake fit for the King of Kings. 

Cake topper crown for my Happy Birthday Jesus cake each Christmas!!!  Such a great idea since He's the king of kings!!!!

Most of our advent activities are free or center around food which of course is a necessity. I tried to put a focus on giving and sharing as that is what we believe the spirit of St. Nicholas and the Nativity is all about.

I am truly looking forward to spending a portion of each day making memories with my children.

Do you celebrate the advent season?

Laura

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” ~ Philippians 4:4

An excellent site that delves deeper into advent and lists daily verses can be found HERE.

Make sure you enter my annual Black Friday Giveaway.

10 comments :

Auntie Em said...

I always loved the lighting of the advent candles at church. The whole congregation seems to hush and reflect while the little ceremony is accomplished and the children know it means something special and more than just toys and treats.
Love your elf advent calendar for your DH. So special and full of love.
Let the countdown begin! :)

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

We light the advent candles also and make a birthday cake for Jesus and my son Mark that we have with Christmas dinner :)

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Love the elf because it reminds me of the ones that my mom had at Christmas when I was young :)

Jeanette@Creating A Life said...

What an amazing gift for your husband. So sweet! We do love Advent here, also. For the past several years we've done a Jesse Tree using Ann Voskamp's book, "The Glorious Coming" as a guide for the nightly reading. (she also has a new book out this year!) Each day has a corresponding paper ornament that we either hang on the Christmas tree, or sometimes we use a separate branch or string them across a window, etc. Our weekly candles are white and the Christ candle, purple.
I've never managed to pull off a daily 'treat', although I've always wanted to do that!
I love what you shared about your family's Advent traditions and you've given others so many wonderful ideas to incorporate into their own Christmas season. Blessings to you!

Lisa said...

As always Laura a lovely post! Such beautiful ideas to celebrate this glorious season!
PS Thinking about you as I was reading a quote from Charmaine Yoest about thankfulness. She stated that on her way home from an event she was crying from loneliness where unbeknownst to her she had met her husband. Even in her moment of despair her future was unfolding. Life is like that.
I believe the Lord has some marvelous things in store for you and your family and I am joining my prayers to yours for the revelation of them.
You are a wonderful inspiration to so many with your beautiful spirit and humble heart.

Rita C. said...

What great ideas for Advent. I love the calendar idea for your husband, and the one you've listed from 2009 - many great ideas.
And so the advent of hope begins....

Vel Criste said...

Never thought of celebrating Advent as a family?! I only started last year with the kids and my little one had fun, with the Advent Calendar I made last year so we're doing it again this year! Would probably try to do your version next year Laura! Thanks for the idea!

Karen said...

Thank you for the inspiration. Wonderful ideas to refocus on why we celebrate.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is SO special! Thanks for the ideas. They are wonderful as always.

XO,

Sheila

InGa said...

Sehr schöne Dekoration. Unseren Tisch schmückt gerade ein langer Holzkerzenständer aus einem alten Handlauf mit schönen weißen Kerzen und hübschen Figuren…