One of the big traditions in our house is to celebrate Advent. To us, Christmas is not just about giving gifts and food, although those things are fun, we celebrate the advent season to help prepare our hearts to celebrate the real reason of Christmas; when Jesus Christ was born. Advent means "to come" which refers to Christ coming to earth as a baby. It is usually celebrated from the first of December until Christmas day. To us, it is so important because of why Jesus was born. He was born to die for our sins. Imagine that. That is something worth celebrating.
Last year I ordered this book called The ADVENTure of Christmas. It is a great book that ties all of our traditions in with the real meaning of Christmas. It has been a great way to do fun things with the kids but also tie it in with the message of Jesus. For an example click HERE.
For Advent, we have a wreath. There are 5 candles; 3 purple, 1 pink, and 1 white. The first purple candle, is called the Prophecy or Hope candle. It reminds us to give thanks to God for the Hope we have in Jesus. The second purple candle is the Bethlehem or peace candle. It calls us to remember that in Bethlehem, the Prince Of Peace was born so that we could be at peace with God. The pink candle called the Shepherd or Joy candle , helps us to celebrate the Tidings of Joy that is for everyone...that Jesus is Born! The last purple candle is the Angel or Love candle which represents Luke 2:14, when the angels sang "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men." The white candle represents the birth of Jesus, the baby who came to die for our sins.
Here's how it works...
We light the first purple candle on the 4th Sunday before Christmas. On the next Sunday we light both the first and second purple candles. Two Sundays before Christmas, we light the first 2 purple candles along with the pink candle. On the Sunday before Christmas, we light the last purple candle along with the other 3. On Christmas day, we light all of the candles and the white Christ candle. On the Sundays that we light The candles, we read part of the Christmas Story found in the Bible in Luke Chapter 2. We definitely feel that the birth of Jesus is worth taking 4 weeks to think about!
Thanks for letting me share a little of our Christmas celebration with you.
*Info taken from the book The Adventure Of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel (she's the girl who played Blair on the old TV show, The Facts of Life!) :)