Preparing for Advent

14 Nov

As Christmas is nearing I am thinking a lot about Advent.  I try to do something each year during the days leading up to Christmas to prepare my heart to celebrate Christ’s birthday.  When I was little we lived near a place called Bronners.  For those of you from Michigan, you know this is Christmas Wonderland and is the largest Christmas store in the world.  It is the place that kids in Michigan look forward to visiting every Christmas.  Just typing this makes my heart skip thinking about visiting this place when I was little and how it felt so magical.  Growing up we would visit around Thanksgiving and each year my mom would let us pick out our own advent calendar.  An advent calendar is basically a cardboard picture of a Christmas scene (religious or secular) and it will have little doors labeled with each number of advent (1-25).  Behind those little doors would be a surprise picture.  I loved waking up in the morning to open up the little door and see what was behind it.  By the time I was a teen they had “improved” versions where the little door led to a piece of chocolate!  From then on, I chose the chocolate version.  While researching for this post I even found a wooden one and each day reveals a magnetic character that can be added to the Nativity scene.  I love it!

Anyway, as you probably know, now that I’m an adult I don’t do the fun advent calendar. Now, I either read a chapter in Luke each day, listened to a Christmas praise hymn each day or read an advent type book.  Well, last year I think I found a book that will now be a tradition in my life each Christmas.  It is called “Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative“. 

It is a great book to read leading up to Christmas and Andrew Peterson has a music CD (or mp3’s) that you can also purchase with the book.  I purchased the kindle version of the book for myself and a few of the mp3’s from Amazon.  I plan on giving a few hardcover versions as gifts over Thanksgiving.

Kevan and I had the opportunity to see Andrew Peterson in person at an adoption conference we went to in Florida.  Now, I love his music.  The song on Andrew Peterson’s album, “Matthew’s Begats” makes me smile every time I hear it.  My pastor in Florida sang it as part of the church’s Variety Show this year.  He did a great job and everyone loved it.  The entire album is very good.

I think this would be a great tradition for families to do together each night leading up to Christmas day.  We also read Luke 2 out loud on Christmas morning.  If I had children I would also love to do what my friend Julie does with her 3 boys.  They make a birthday cake for Jesus to enjoy on Christmas day.  

If you have any advent traditions I would love to hear them.  Please comment and let me know.

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