Word of the Week #7

This post is a day late, I’d like to say on purpose….so we will just pretend that it is. As it is the beginning of December I thought it was appropriate to reflect on a word that means a lot to me this Christmas season. The word is:

“ADVENT”

noun: a coming into place, view, or being; arrival; the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world

synonyms: onset, beginning, commencement, start (dictionary.com)

I have so many sweet childhood memories of my house decorated for Christmas. That living room in the front of the house that did not get as much use throughout out the year was always our favorite spot during the season. The fresh Christmas tree lighting up sentimental ornaments delicately placed amid the branches, fake snow dusting the glowing village, wooden reindeer and an old red-suited friend, hanging stockings waiting to be filled, and a wrapped box filled with wrapped books.

My mom always had something special up her sleeve to teach, allow us to be creative, and have some fun. There were a few years that we read through a book called, The 25 Days of Christmas: An Advent Celebration for the Entire Family by: Rebecca Hayford Bauer. A great book if you are looking for a special way to celebrate the advent season. You can do everything in the book or pick and choose the things that meet the ages and creativity level of your children. One year while my mom read the stories each night, she gave my brother and I all kinds of crafting objects. While we listened we were to create a small ornament that reminded us of the story for that night. When we were done with that advent season we ended up with a new way to count down the days until Christmas for the next year. My kids are actually using those same ornaments I made YEARS ago this year to count down…

That box of wrapped books was a tradition that I loved growing up. Before bed each night during advent we would sit down by the Christmas tree and my brother and i would alternate picking a wrapped book out of the box. They were 24 Christmas books that my mom had collected and wrapped up in Christmas paper so we would have a surprise story to count down the days. I loved the stories so much I decided to carry that tradition on with my own kids this year. I am pretty excited to start with them tonight as we begin this 2011 Advent season. Since they are little book worms like their Mommy, I know they will love this special story time too.

I also wanted to share something so simple, yet so powerful it changed the world. Sometimes I tend to over think or dramatize the Luke 2 version of the “Christmas Story” because of all the traditional movies, statues, songs, stories, etc… that goes on this time of year, but it is plainly stated and it amazes me.

After Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census to be taken, “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:4-7

I mean wow, they went, it was time, she had the baby. THE baby, the Christ, Emmanuel – the humblest of beginnings to the most ultimate story. Remember Christ this Christmas and make Him the center of all your celebrating.

I pray this Christmas season is a blessed one for everyone – a time to relax a bit, spend time together, bake cookies, look at Christmas lights and get a chance to do your special holiday traditions as a family. Make this Advent Season a memorable one.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

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