Advent is quickly approaching. I’m so concerned with November birthdays and Thanksgiving that it pretty much sneaks up on me every year. While it’s not all bad to be distracted by giving thanks, I should not forget to prepare the way of the Lord.
Growing up, most years we had a wreath on our table and I always received an Advent calendar at school. I do remember going to an occasional “Advent wreath making” event at church, but I don’t really remember looking forward to something that we did during every Advent.
Yesterday, a coworker was telling me of his family’s Advent tradition: Every night before dinner, their oldest child lights the candle(s) and they all sing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” After dinner, they rotate which child gets to blow out the candle(s).
This simple conversation has inspired me to come up with an Advent tradition for my family. My goal is something to help us understand and appreciate Advent, and maybe eventually pass the tradition on in my own kids’ families, too. I know it has to be simple, so we can continue it—and it has to be meaningful, so we want to continue it. I have less than two weeks to figure something out.
What are your Advent traditions? Do you have any?
To help prepare your heart for Advent, St. Anthony Messenger Press offers two day-by-day Advent books:
Advent with the Saints by Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
Rediscover Advent by Matthew Kelly