What is Advent and Why Should I Keep It?

When I think about the Christmas season I think of the tale of Befana the Housewife. Befana was a hard working woman. Her neighbors, on their way to greet baby Jesus, kept knocking on her door and inviting her to come along, but she always had to do one more thing. She was distracted. Eventually, she makes her trip, but she missed her chance and never got to see Jesus.

Have you ever put a lot of care into the gifts, the decorations and the food only to feel empty by Christmas evening? Every year people talk about how we can take back Christmas – and our sanity. A lot of these tips focus on lessening the impact of Christmas on our health and pocket book through moderation. For some Christians these efforts still miss the mark. I can stay away from the sweets table, eat my veggies, drink my water, respect my budget and still find myself empty on Christmas Eve. The Boxing Day mommy meltdown isn’t about what I did, but what I didn’t do. I never really understood Befana until I was a mother.
 
Distracted by the bounty of the holiday and the wish for perfection, it’s easy for even the most faithful Christian to miss the joyful announcement that Jesus is born!
 
During Advent we prepare and anticipate Christ’s arrival in the past and in the future. Advent is our opportunity to make sure that we don’t miss out on Christmas Day. We’re so distracted that we need four whole weeks of reminders to slow down and look for God in our lives.
 

Keeping Advent, Advent

image source silviarita at pixabay.com

 
We’ve been discovering the mystery of Christmas slowly over the last few years.

I used to covet the Christmas holiday as a private family time, but after a few years I realized that Christmas isn’t really a time to rest. It’s a time to celebrate the love of family and friends. So, my parents come to visit for Christmas dinner every year.

I used to spend weeks planning the holiday meals. I would spend a fortune at the grocery store stocking up for the holiday. Then I would spend a lot of time cooking fancy and unfamiliar food that nobody really liked. Now, I keep the sides and desserts simple. I buy a cook-from-frozen-turkey, and I’m never going back. I’ll use the extra time for some quiet reflection and prayer.

I’ve got a big tree that I don’t always set up. We’re using it this year! We’ll decorate it with simple, homemade ornaments over Advent.

I saw a lot of beautiful Advent centerpieces and I really wanted one. I did all the justifying. I’ve never had an Advent wreath. I should buy a nice one. It’s our first Christmas as a Christian family we need something nice for our daughter to light. Nope. It wasn’t in the budget. Our church is having an Advent wreath workshop and we’ll be there with bells on. I’m sure it will be a more meaningful experience anyway. It’s times like these that I’m thankful for our humble apartment that doesn’t really suit an expensive pewter ornament anyway.

I’m also excited that Advent is the beginning of a new year of scripture readings. I’m going to study them at home and keep up this year.

Thanks for reading. I’m linking up with The Sienna Sisters Blog Hop and the Family Joy Linky Party.
 

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Keeping Advent, Advent

8 thoughts on “What is Advent and Why Should I Keep It?

  1. Hi Kerry! Thanks for joining us at Family Joy Blog Linkup. Please come back again. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I have never really celebrated Advent or understood it, but thank you for the reminders about the true meaning behind Christmas. It is very easy to be caught up in everything else.

    • Thank you so much for visiting, Charlotte! I’m glad that you liked my post. My family returned to the church this year. It’s the first time in many years that I’ve really celebrated Advent and it’s been a special experience, getting back to the reason for the season.

  2. This is great! I’ve had Advent wreaths as everything from dollar store candles stuck in a styrofoam block, my collage dorm electric candles and rosemary branches, to my current metal wreath. The effort and prayer is what counts!

  3. Great reminder to keep perspective of Advent on our family and friends – it’s the love and the memories that truly make the purpose of the season! And, the great thing about the Advent wreath you will be making? It will have beautiful memories, perhaps some joy and laughter, displayed and loved over this Advent (if it isn’t a fresh wreath, then for Advents to come)!

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