If you love Christmas, you must love Advent too. Advent is the four-week period before December 25; it is a time of preparation, hope and waiting for the birthday of Jesus. For most people, the weeks leading up to Christmas are filled with shopping, decorating and baking Christmas goodies. However, Advent is more religious by nature – many faiths across the world observe Advent in varied ways.
The most common tradition during Advent is the lighting of candles, surrounded by a wreath. The Advent candles are symbolic by nature and are lit at the beginning of each of the four weeks of Advent. Each week brings us closer to the much-awaited festival that brings joy in the world.
The Advent wreath and candles
The Advent wreath has four or sometimes five candles that are placed in holders. Usually, there are three purple candles and one pink candle, and a white candle in the centre. These colors may vary across different churches around the world.
Observe Advent by keeping an Advent wreath in your house. Give it a special place, away from the reach of children. This is to ensure that they don’t play with the candles when they are lit.
While splendidly decorated wreaths are available in the market, you can decorate a simple one in your own style. Let the children help with the decorating so that they feel involved. While you’re working, explain the significance of Advent to them.
Observe the ritual of lighting the candles every week together as a family. Read Bible passages, suitable for the season. You can also sing Advent hymns after lighting the candle for that week.
The Advent calendar
In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, the boy wizard ticked off days on a calendar, waiting for his vacations to end. In the same way, you can look forward to Christmas by counting days on the Advent calendar. Each day can reveal some information about this joyous season, or perhaps a gift. Personalize your calendar with creativity and enthusiasm.
Start preparing for Christmas by observing Advent and make the festive season even more special.