Savoring Advent- Simple Ways to Celebrate Advent

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There is a sense of anticipation at my house. Christmas is less than a month away! We are eagerly looking forward to remembering Jesus birth.


It is easy to get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas. My girls can’t wait to see what their gifts will be. As much as I like making, giving and receiving gifts I want our focus to be on the most important gift, Jesus Christ, the whole reason for our celebration.


Over the past few years I have tried to become more intentional about our celebration. One of the ways I do this is by observing Advent.


I love the beauty and tradition of Advent. I grew up celebrating it but it wasn’t until I started raising my girls that that I gained a full appreciation for the celebration.


What is Advent?
Advent is a celebration that starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.

During this time we focus the advent or coming of Christ. We remember the thousands of years the Israelites waited for Messiah to come. We are also reminded to look ahead and anticipate Christ’s return.


Celebration Ideas
There are many different ways to celebrate Advent.

This year we are celebrating Advent three different ways.




Jesse Tree

Ann Voskamp wrote a wonderful devotional using the Jesse Tree. It is based off of Isaiah 11:11where it talks about a shoot coming out from the stump of Jesse, that shot being Jesus. Every day there is scripture passage and short passage to read and an ornament you can make to go along with the lesson. My girls have really enjoyed this time.

If you have younger children you may want to concider the book, Truth in the Tinsel, like Diana of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa will be doing with her kids.




Advent Wreath

Traditionally Advent Wreaths are made from evergreens to symbolize the hope we have in God, of renewal and eternal life. The four candles on the outside symbolize waiting, during the four weeks before Christmas as well as the four centuries of waiting between the book of Malachi (the last book of the Old Testament) and the birth of Christ. 


The colors of the candles may vary but many use three purple and one rose candle to represent Christ’s royalty. The center candle is traditionally white and is called the “Christ Candle.” On the first, second and fourth Sundays the purple candles are lit. On the third Sunday the rose candle is lit. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day the white is lit. Popular themes to focus on are hope, love, joy and peace.


Many families only light the candles on Sundays but we like to light them each day as we read our Jesse Tree devotional.




Advent Calanders

This will be my first year doing an Advent Calendar with my household. I grew up with many different calendars. I have chosen to make a simple homemade one similar to the picture above. There are 25 bags with a notes inside explaining the special activity or treat for that day. A few of things will be, making paper snow flakes, watching a Christmas movie, making Christmas cards, making marshallows, helping a neighbor, drinking hot cocoa, picking oranges….



Book and Movies

Here are some of my favorites for all ages that you and your family may enjoy as well!

Amazon.com Widgets Amazon.com Widgets

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday

Disclaimer
About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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