Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Merry Christmas: Advent Calendar

Merry Christmas dear sweet friends, 

To those of you I know and to those I wish I knew, I am hoping that you enjoy a peaceful, joyful holiday season.  I pray that this Christmas will be full of laughter and celebration as well as quiet moments full of tender reflection on the Christ child.  On a starry night some 2,000 years ago, in a crowded town busy with their own worries and troubles, lay a baby in a manger.  This child went unnoticed by most.  But heaven and earth were singing out the arrival of the God-child, the savior who had become flesh.  Many were too busy to hear the faint cries of the baby born in a stable, but had they paused for a moment they might have heard the heavenly host of angels singing, "Glory to God in the Highest."  Those chosen shepherds, keeping their flocks by night, did hear and see the multitudes of heavenly hosts proclaiming this good news of great joy.

"Fear not" for in this bustling city of David there has been born a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And so, the time to celebrate this holiest of nights, witnessed but by a few, is upon us.  Let us cast out all distractions, let us be purposeful with our time, let us revel in the miracle that saved us.  Let us celebrate the Advent of Christ!

The Advent Calendar

Many families use some type of Advent Calendar to count off the day until Christmas.  Our family uses this red box with little compartments which holds treasures for the kids.  With three children, I can just fit three small pieces of candy or stickers in each one along with a tiny scroll.

Chocolate snowmen and handmade scrolls.

Each scroll, handmade from paper and toothpicks, has a Bible verse written on it which tells a part of the Christmas story.  Most of the verses for the first week in December are from the Old Testament which prophesy the coming Messiah.  Then we hear about the angel who spoke to Mary, Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth and the arrival of John the Baptist.  We learn about Jesus' birth and the host of angels who tell the shepherds the good news of great joy.  At the end, I add the verses about the Wise Men. 

I finish with Simeon, who was promised he would see the Messiah before he died, blessing Jesus.  Since so much of the story happens after the birth, I didn't save His birth for the 25th.  I know many people like to save it for the last box, where they place a small baby Jesus figure, but I wanted to have our family dwell on each part of the story and I love the story of Simeon.  Simeon's blessing actually comes before the Wise Men in the Biblical account but many children think of the Magi when they think of the Nativity so I ended with Simeon.

I created a link to all the verses in case you would like to use them in your Advent celebration.  You don't have to take the time to cut each verse and tape them to toothpicks, but I will say the kids love unrolling the "little scrolls" every year.  You can find it at Advent Verses .

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