December 19, 2006

Advent Tradition

For the past two years we have had a nice Advent tradition that we have been slowly adding on to. Here is how we try to spend each evening for the 4 weeks before Christmas.

After dinner we put on a pot of tea, clean the dishes and the table and then light our Advent wreath. We do not have anything fancy just a fake plain green wreath and four candles in small candleholders. We all sit around the dinner table - the wreath is in the center and drink tea. The kids current favorite is Sleepytime. If we are going to have desert this is when we have it - if nothing else they usually get a Hershey's kiss.

While we drink our tea we read a chapter from our Advent book. This year we are reading Jotham's Journey. Last year we read another book from the same series, Bartholomew's Passage. We love these books. They are intense for young children and at times we edit parts of it because it gets graphic but the stories are really inspiring and help refocus us back to the birth of Christ during a hectic time.

The books are designed so you read one a night from the fourth sunday before Christmas until Christmas morning. You could really read any book but we really enjoy this series. They are impossible to find now, we borrowed from friends both last year and this year.

After we finish our chapter we sing a Christmas Carol - we take turns choosing each night. After the song we all go around the table and pray together and for each other. This is also a time when we share any prayer requests we have. Then when prayers are done the kids take turns blowing out the candles and we head off to bed.

Some families choose to let their children light a candle to walk to their room with but our children are too young and we like our house too much to facilitate it burning down, so we just blow them out then.

This tradition has been wonderful. It is such a special family time. It is great to calm down together and come together bringing the focus on the upcoming birth of Christ. We really take time to be quiet and still and reflect on that. We take time to pray together and sing songs that remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Some nights Serona will gather the kids around the Christmas tree afterwards and tell them a story he makes up about our family friend Benkin (an imaginary character he made up) and the adventures the children go on with him. They really love these stories and laying in front of the tree listening.

The Christmas season is a very good one for us. It helped this year that nearly all our shopping was done before Thanksgiving - that took a lot of pressure off. It also really makes a difference to have a daily tradition that brings us all together, quiet and calm and focusing on Christ. It really is a time we cherish together.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:57 PM

    I love quiet times like this for after dinner. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing and enjoy the warm fuzzies with your family.
    Teresa in NC
    married to a USMC hubby 13yrs and mommy to 3 sweeties (9ds, 7ds, 5dd)