A green wreath, 3 purple candles, 1 pink candle, and 1 white candle. Eternal life through Christ and an abundant life here and now, hope, faith, joy, peace, and the purity of Christ. These are the symbols and meanings of an Advent wreath. Some churches still celebrate Advent but a lot of our mainstream churches today do not. What is Advent? It actually began as a time of fasting and prayer leading up to the Epiphany, which celebrates the divine revelation of Jesus to the Magi. In 600 AD, Gregory the First declared it to start the 4th Sunday before Christmas. Why is it important to celebrate Advent today with our children? The word Advent means “the arrival of a notable person or event.” That alone should get us excited to share the tradition of Advent with our children in our homes. Christmas is such a joyous time of year with all the decorations, songs, parties, and presents that life can get a little hectic. Advent, teaching our children that the most notable person, Jesus Christ, arrived on this earth in the form of a baby is something to be celebrated, for it began the redemption process for all of mankind!
When my children were small and I was homeschooling them, we had a tradition every year that helped us keep our focus on Christ the whole Christmas season long. I went to the dollar store and bought all the items listed above to make our Advent wreath. Then, each day leading up to Christmas, we would read part of a story in the Advent Adventures series by Arnold Ytreeide. There are four books in the series, which starts with Jotham’s Journey. This tradition helped me as a mom focus on the true meaning of the Christmas season. I love Christmas and all the hustle and bustle associated with it. Taking time daily to light the candles and reading a story focused on Christ helped me to get the right perspective on this season. Even if you don’t find time to read a story to your children, perhaps playing an audio version of the Christmas story or watching a nativity movie after lighting the candles will refocus you and your household on the true reason for the season.
I hope this helps you see the importance of Advent in your homes. Advent is all about getting our hearts and minds focused on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this Christmas season.