Hello, friends! I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Now, let the Christmas decorating and music begin!
Growing up, I remember being so excited when I got to open the doors on the advent calendar each day, leading up to Christmas. Our advent calendar was one of those wall hanging kinds, with little doors that you open each day. It’s hard to say, but I might have peaked ahead a time or two. I know, you’re shocked reading that, Mom. How unlike me! Even though we had the same calendar each year, it never lost its excitement.
As he quickly approaches three years old, this will will be the first Christmas that Gabriel will get it. Actually, I guess that’s not totally true. I have almost 22 years on Gabriel and I don’t get why Christ would come to die for me. Isn’t it amazing? Christmas gets lost on the big man in a red suit and gifts under the tree (which aren’t bad things in themselves), when it’s about the birth of our Savior. He was born for a reason, with a specific purpose: for our salvation, to reconcile us to God. It began in a manger and was accomplished on a tree. The cost was great, but the gift is free!
I’m especially excited for Christmas this year. I’m excited to start traditions that Gabriel will remember. (We have some already, but I’m looking forward to adding more). One of those is an advent calendar. Advent is the time leading up to Christmas. It’s the anticipation of the birth of the Savior. As John Piper writes in this article, advent is a time of looking back and looking ahead. We look back to the time of Christ’s birth, thinking of the anticipation of those waiting for the salvation that God promised, not knowing what to expect (and probably not expecting a baby born in a manger). And we look ahead, waiting, longing and preparing for Christ’s return, when redemption is complete. In short, it’s all about Jesus! This year, advent starts on Sunday, December 2. (It starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve). We’ll get our Christmas tree on Saturday, and then begin our advent celebration on Sunday. I’ve been looking at creative advent calendars and started making ours yesterday. Today, I’ll share some inspiration. And then I’ll be back with the advent calendar I made and how our family will be celebrating!
Does your family have an advent calendar? What is your tradition? I’d love to hear!