What do you think of when you hear Advent? A few years back, I would have said, "Old traditions" "Christmas Candles" "Old Church Stuff" ... etc, etc.
What is Advent? I've learned a lot about Advent through our local church over the past few years. These days, I have a much different opinion of Advent ... It's a season of celebration in anticipation of the Birthday of Christ (Christmas).
What am I doing about it this year? How about our family? Good questions ...
- I started a new reading plan on Youversion.com that is an "advent plan". It takes me through daily Bible readings for 25 days from Dec 1 to Dec 25. So far, it's been a great way for me to prepare my heart and mind for Christmas. I really like Youversion because I can read on my iPad, phone, laptop and it syncs across all devices. Also, there's a ton of different versions and translations. There's also a new kids mobile app that is really great!
- As a family, we are working on reading through a different Advent verse with our 3 year old each day. So far, we are successful at 3 out of 6 days ... but, we're trying :) Also, we have an Advent Book coming that will guide us through a child-focused Advent Celebration.
- Giving to others ... we have a little savings plan called "What Can I Give to the King" that we are working on with our 3 year old. As part of that, we contribute financially (all family members) to the "stocking" ... then, when Christmas is approaching we are all going to go to the grocery store and let our 3 year old pick out things to buy that we can give to our local food bank. He'll probably pick out fruit snacks. :) Why do this? Because it is a tangible thing (fruit snacks) that he (our 3 yr old) values; and, we think it would be an impactful lesson for him to give away something that he values with money that we contributed as a family to someone else that needs it more than we do.