Am I the only who didn’t know what Advent was? In all of my almost 32 years, I never knew what Advent was. And if I was told, I clearly forgot! I remember when I was younger, my grandma would give us these neat little calendars with chocolate in them, and every day in December leading up to Christmas we would get to eat one… Actually by the 5th they were already gone so obviously we didn’t know what the calendar was for or meant! We just thought it was the days before Santa came?!
This year I ordered this really neat Advent devotional and super cute calendar, but STILL didn’t know what it was! And at Starbucks I saw a cute box with red little numbered balls in it, I think they were filled with chocolate so it really caught my eye, and it was titled Advent Calendar. I have to be honest, I just wanted it for the chocolate but I had no clue what it was for!
So as I started digging, actually GOOGLING the meaning of Advent and I found – ‘the coming of Christ’ and ‘the first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays’… Ahhhhhh. Ok, now I get it! FINALLY! I am now a little behind on celebrating Advent because it took me so long to figure it out, but that’s ok, it’s better late than never. As we started brainstorming on some ways we can celebrate Advent in our home and teaching our children how important the time is leading up to Christ’s birth, we came up with some neat and fun ways to celebrate the coming of Jesus.
- Donate to a local charity or charities. One that we really like is Stepping Stones. They help single mothers get out of abusive situations and get on their feet. I was a single mom for 7 years and I will never forget the difficult times and situations I was in. It is such a blessing to be able to help women and children in need
- Create an Advent calendar with your kids and maybe include candy too?!
- Memorize a new scripture everyday. The Old Testament tells a lot about the time leading up to the coming of Jesus, and there are many many parallels, it’s very interesting!
- Serve food at the local shelter or soup kitchen
- Give a small gift to a family member, friend, teacher or special person in your life everyday of Advent, whether it’s the same person or a different one. And it doesn’t have to cost anything. It can be homemade or even just a piece of candy. Most often the little thoughtful gifts mean the most!
- In your family, a different person gets to open a gift everyday of Advent and then donate it to a shelter (or keep if that’s what your family decides)
- Give gift cards in small increments to homeless people or families you know in need
My kids and I are total suckers for homeless people. When we see someone on the side of the road, most of the time we help them, whether it’s food or money. I use to struggle with this because I was unsure what they would be doing with money, but I realized that it’s really none of my business, we are called to help the needy. (This is purely my opinion, I know not everyone agrees!) So giving back will be on our families list of things to do during Advent. Also, doing some of these things anonymously is really important and special. It’s good to do things for other people secretly, it takes the attention off of ourselves and keeps the focus on the person receiving the gift. And I really believe it’s as good for us as it is for them!
This Advent, I hope you all can give back in your communities and please share some of your ideas to celebrate!
P.S. The devotional I purchased is a great way to learn more and journal as you go. Also, shereadstruth.com has a fantastic website and an amazing daily devotional app that is a must have, as well as beautiful lock screen pictures like the one above of “to us a child is born”.