Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Welcome December!

So many of my favorite things come around in December. The tree, the colors, the lights, the knitted stockings, the cold weather, the candles... love them all. But mostly I love that they all represent a tradition... something that the boys can look forward to every year.

We are in our 3rd year of celebrating Advent. The season began on Sunday, the beginning of the celebration of Jesus' birth. Our Advent wreath is up and the first candle is lit. Although we grew up in Christian homes, we are new to Advent. Since it was deemed a liturgical observation, our non-denominational churches didn't recognize it.

I'm still learning... but Advent is a season of waiting and preparation for the coming of Jesus' birth, which we observe as Christmas Day. The Advent wreath is a circle which reminds us of God and His eternal love and mercy which has no beginning and no end. The green of the wreath represents hope and the eternal life we have in Him. The 4 candles represent, in order of lighting: hope, peace, love, and joy. And lastly, the 5th candle lit on Christmas morning, represents Christ's birth, that He is the light of the world.

I have found some good info online. My sister posted several great links on her blog... I liked this one.

As an addition to this, our church is a part of the Advent Conspiracy. It's a concept, an idea, that instead of buying gift after gift for our loved ones, we give something handmade or give our time or anything that gives more of ourselves to make the gift more meaningful. And the money that we would spend on just another store gift, we give away. Here's a great video explaining it in more detail. There is so much poverty around the world, I love using Christmas as a way to help those in need.


A couple of little reindeer thanks to a package from Grandpa and Grandma in New York. They were checking each other out at first and then when big brother got something in his eye, Sawyer had to copy. Welcome December, welcome!



Adam and Raechell said...

The boys are adorable! :D Some of the cutest reindeer I've ever seen!

Susan L said...

Andrea, I just wanted to say hello and to tell you how much I've enjoyed reading here at your blog. What a sweet family (your own little family and your sister, too! :-) ) and warm home you have!

My sister just showed me the Advent Conspiracy video yesterday (her church is promoting it, too). I love the spirit and attitude of it.

Many blessings to you today and through the Advent season,
Susan :-)

Grandpa said...

Sawyer and Ian make good looking reindeer. Santa would be proud to have this team leading his sleigh. We love you guys.

Linda said...

Precious pictures Andrea. We are originally from New York!
I just learned about Advent when I began blogging. I wish I had known about it when the children were still at home. I was raised in a Christian home too, but it was never part of our celebration. I think it is so lovely.
I do have my own little Jesse Tree up. I'm enjoying reading Ann's devotional and then hanging the pretty ornaments.
Enjoy this wonderful time with those two sweet little "deers".

Tasha Lehman said...

I agree that this is my favorite time of year as well! It is so heart warming to pass on traditions of the seasons to my boys. I love the idea of celebrating Advent and especially of keeping Christmas simple and focused on good will. I am trying to instill that in our boys too. (though Matt keeps buying Star Wars toys...sigh...) I do hate the commercialism of the Holiday though!!! Now I sound like Charlie Brown...

Kerry said...

Hi, Andrea! Thanks for the link to the Anglican Advent Carnival! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Have a blessed Advent!