As a child my view of Christmas centered around decorations, presents, and of course, Santa Claus. Sure I knew that we were celebrating the birth of Jesus, however, very little of our time as a family was focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Once I became an adult and started my own family, I began to reevaluate how I wanted my family to celebrate the Christmas holidays. I knew that I wanted to move away from the commercialism of Christmas and to really focus on the coming of our Saviour, and it was during this time I began to learn about other families around the world who were celebrating Advent.
According to Noel Piper, “Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas …For four weeks, it’s as if we’re re-enacting, remembering the thousands of years God’s people were anticipating and longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus. That’s what advent means – coming.” (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-advent)
Advent is a time for us to slow down from the hustle and bustle of life and to invite our children into God’s big story of sending His son as a Saviour for the world. It doesn’t have to take a lot time or preparation, rather just a little bit of intentionality on our part as parents. This year Advent begins on Sunday, December 2nd. We have listed some suggestions of ways to celebrate Advent as a family below, and we want to encourage you to pick one of the suggestions and start a new family tradition this year!