Christmas Traditions: Celebrating Advent

advent calendar3Celebrating Advent Advent is the term that is used to refer to the Christmas season, a season of hope and anticipation, as we await the celebration of the birth of our Savior. There are many ways to celebrate Advent, all of which help focus our thoughts on Jesus rather than the hustle and bustle of the season.

When our kid(s) are a little older I'd love to incorporate the Jesse Tree idea into our family traditions, but for now we celebrate Advent pretty simply.

We're continuing my family's tradition of a candy cane Advent calendar. Each day of December we add a candy cane. I can remember my brother and I each always wanting the "even days" (we took turns) so we would get to put in the coveted last candy cane (now my brother and his wife celebrate it backwards- I think they like to eat the candies each day :) -so you can do it either way).

Here's a couple of photos from years past...

advent calendar2my brother being dramatic (pardon the red eyes-- old photo, lazy blogger)

IMG_9126.JPGgetting Chiquita involved

The very top photo in this post is one of the calendar I made for our little family last year using the same pattern my mom used when she made the original 30 years ago (it's still in great shape!). It's made from a Vogue pattern, #1312, from 1979 (and the pattern was only $2.50 back then!). I found it on Etsy in case anyone's interested! Here's a closer look at mine.

advent calendar4

Growing up we also always had an Advent wreath on the dining room table as well. We're short on space for something like that in our little home, but I love Rachel {at Small Notebook}'s idea on making one from things around the house (hers came out super cute!). I may use that design in the future sometime!

Since Chiquita is pretty young still, I'm really just focusing on teaching her the Christmas story as a way to celebrate Advent this year. Today when we read part of it, she emphatically repeated about 20 times, "The city was too crowded! The hotels were all full!" It was cute. I love seeing her digest parts of the Bible (as much as her 2-year old mind can, anyway).

One more great idea from my friend Kelley, is to read one chapter from the book of Luke everyday until Christmas (24 chapters) to get the complete picture as to why we so celebrate Jesus' birth. I'm totally going to do this!

More great traditions ahead... stay tuned!

How do you celebrate Advent?