Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Advent Celebration

This year we decided to celebrate Advent as a family. We have never done this before so I was really unsure of what to do, how to do it, etc. So, I did some searches on the Internet and found different things we could do as a family to prepare for Christmas. I didn't really like any of them all that much. I mean I would like a part of this one, or that one, but not one as a whole. So, I took what I liked from them and sort of made my own. My plan was to share this with you, but then last week happened and I didn't have time to make my advent wreath or type anything up to share with you. We also didn't do the first week because we were shuttling two kids back and forth from the hospital. If there was ever a time where we definitely should have taken the time to focus on the birth of Christ, last week would have been perfect. But alas, life doesn't always work out the way we want it to.

So, to make up for it, we are going to do week one and two tonight and then we will be back on track. I thought I'd share with you what we are doing any way. Maybe next year it will help someone else out who wants to celebrate the Advent season but is unsure of how. Okay? So here we go.

The first thing you will need is to make your advent wreath. You can do a quick Google search for "advent wreath" and find several that you can buy, or you can make your own very easily. All you need are 3 purple (or blue) candles, one pink and one white candle. I used a plate from our old microwave and cut some leaf shapes out of some brown felt I had leftover from Halloween costumes, and walaa! The advent wreath doesn't have to be all fancy. I'm a simple person, and I think simple is better!

Here's ours:

The next thing you need to decide is if you want to do something daily, or weekly. We are going the weekly route. So, we decided that Tuesday nights would be the best day of the week for us to celebrate. (The traditional day to celebrate is Sunday, but we just would not be able to make that work)

Here is my outlines of what we will be doing for Advent Week One and Two:

Advent Week One
Lighting of 1st Candle-(purple) "CANDLE OF HOPE"
We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises he made to us. Our hope comes from God. (Romans15: 12-13)

Alternate meaning: "PROPHECY CANDLE"
The color purple is a sign of penance and also represents the longing we have waiting for the birth of baby Jesus.

Scripture readings: Isaiah7:14, Isaiah40:1-5, Isaiah 52:7-10, Isaiah 40:9-11, Deuteronomy 18:15-19, and Psalm 89:1-4

Song: O Come, O Come Emmanuel


Advent Week Two
2nd Candle-(purple) "CANDLE OF PREPARATION"
Preparation means to 'get ready'. "Help us to be ready to welcome you, O God!" (Luke 3:4-6)

Alternate meaning: "CANDLE OF BETHLEHEM"

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10, Zechariah 6:12-13, Micah 5:1-5, Malachi 3:1-6, John 1:1-6. John 1:9-18, Mark 1:1-3

Songs: Away in a Manger and O Little Town Of Bethlehem


It helps that I have a guitar playing hunk who lives here, but even if your family is not musical, you can just sing the songs together. If anyone would like the words to either of these songs I would be happy to share them with you, just shoot me an email.

Another thing we've done is the Blue-Eyed Boy and I made a prayer chain. It's just like your basic paper chain we all made in elementary school, only on the one side I wrote the Christmas countdown and on the other side we wrote the name of someone we wanted to pray for. When I taped the strips into a chain the name is on the inside while the number is on the outside. So, every day we can pull one off and pray for the person that is on that paper for the day. The Blue-Eyed Boy had fun making this.

So, there you have it. That is what we will be doing tonight (we're going to wait til it's dark so the candles can really shine).

I'll post what we will do next week later in the week.

Oh and here's a Tip Jar Tuesday for ya:

Tip #11

Crawl under a blanket with someone you love. Life is short folks-- don't get hung up in the stuff that doesn't matter and forget about the stuff that really does.


Hannah said...

I really, really like the prayer chain idea. At our church group we made an advent chain with verses on each day, but there's nothing really compelling about it, nothing to make you want to look at it every day. Adding prayers is just a great idea.
Also, love the tip today. It made me cry because I'm all alon(ely), but it's wonderful nonetheless.

Janell said...

i have never done anything for advent and we never did growing up either. i never even really knew much about it untill a speaker at my MOPS group talked about what they did for advent each year. its a good idea. you really do have to make it your own though and do what works for you. the prayer chain is a good idea!

Jessica Lynn said...

I can't take credit for the prayer chain. I read about it somewhere online and thought it was great!

I never celebrated Advent growing up either. This is new for all of us.

It went really well last night, the kids were pretty antsy towards the end, but I think that was because we were cramming two weeks worth into one night. Next week should go better.

Erika said...

I love the prayer chain idea. I'll be making a note of it & will be doing it next year. Growing up about all I remember doing for advent was having an advent wreath & we would like a candle each Sun of Advent.

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