Well, it’s upon us. The season so many of us wait all year for – Christmas.
Whatever holiday you and your loved ones celebrate, this holiday season is anticipated all year long. (I’m unashamed to admit the first Christmas music usually finds its way out of my collection around August.)
But it’s easy to get so busy with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with baking and wrapping and party-going, that we forget what the season is really all about. The anticipation is lost in our business.
That childlike Christmas list turns into a grown-up “to do” list.
This year, I’m vowing to remember, and recognize the season of Advent. We’ve all heard of Advent. You probably have an advent calendar sitting somewhere in your décor. But I must admit, I didn’t know its full meaning until a few years. There are many traditions we don’t even realize come from the observance of Advent.
The term Advent means “coming.” It is a reminder of the original waiting and anticipation that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah. This season, officially four weeks long, begins on the fourth Sunday before December 25th.
Advent wreath from Wikipedia
Often in your church settings, there will be special readings or specific teachings in the liturgy. And there will often be an Advent wreath or those purple, blue, or pink candles.
My favorite Christmas hymn is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” This carol refers to the forthcoming birth of the Messiah, and each verse represents a prayer.
I know of someone who even endeavors to complete her Christmas shopping before December 1st, so she can fully partake in the joy of the season (brave and organized woman)!
More than anything, it’s a reminder that before presents are bought or wrapped, food is baked or eaten, television holiday specials are viewed, we must remember the original good tidings that bring peace and goodwill to all men.
What special Advent traditions do you and your family celebrate?