Who are You Waiting for – Jesus or Santa?

by Phyllis Sather on November 26, 2012

How many of you know that Advent starts on Sunday, December 2nd?

How many of you know what Advent is?

Some of you will understand Advent if you’ve grown up in a denominational church, but for many who became Christians later in life and attend a more non-denominational church you may have never celebrated it or possibly even heard of it.

One thing I’ve come to believe is that by disengaging ourselves from many denominational traditions we’ve thrown out the baby with the bathtub so to speak.

Traditions aren’t wrong in and of themselves, but when they become rote they lose their meaning.
Years ago we decided to resurrect both Advent and the 12 Days of Christmas in our family.

This article from Wikipedia tells in detail the meaning of Advent.

They give the meaning of the word as: “Adventus is the Latin word for “coming”, and is the exact Latin equivalent for the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting that Christians today endure as they await the second coming of Jesus.”
This excerpt from our book Purposeful Planning shares some of the ways we celebrate it. It includes information on Lent, which we began to celebrate too.

Lent, Advent,
and the Twelve Days of Christmas

In addition to Easter and Christmas we celebrate Lent, Advent, and the Twelve Days of Christmas. Remember I said we celebrate what we value? Oftentimes the rush of the season, especially Christmas, seems to take away from our enjoyment. Adding Lent before Easter, Advent before Christmas, and the Twelve Days of Christmas after Christmas helps us to slow down and enjoy these holidays more. It has also helped us to celebrate what we value. We value Christ’s gift on the Cross, so spending time during Lent reading about His sacrifice and going without TV or desserts helps us to focus on all that He did for us.

Advent helps us to anticipate the baby Jesus’ arrival. We’ve used Advent wreathes and calendars to help us count off the days until Jesus’ birth.

The Twelve Days of Christmas has by far become a favorite at our house. If you’re not familiar with it, it begins Christmas Day and includes the next eleven days. It’s taken a lot of stress off me because I do most of our entertaining during the days after Christmas, rather than trying to fit everything into the days before Christmas. People are usually very happy to get an invitation for a day or two after Christmas.

One family we know has a farm and invites their friends to bring their Christmas trees over on the twelfth day. They have a bonfire with all the trees, drink hot chocolate, and toast marshmallows. It’s gotten to be an annual event that their friends and family look forward to and it doesn’t interfere with most people’s Christmas plans.
We put twelve small gifts into the children’s Christmas stockings and they get to open one on each of the twelve days. During the year I look for special little things – this would, of course, vary with your children’s ages. My big children still look forward to these little things.

In a previous post I quote from a devotional by Watchman Nee –Call to Advent

So I ask again – who are you waiting for this Christmas?

There are a lot of good Advent devotionals available. Here is a list from CBD.

I will be using this one from the Good Morning Girls website. They offer it free.

Good Morning Girls Advent Bible Study

Do you already celebrate Advent? Please share some of the ways your family celebrates in the comments so we can all learn.

If you don’t – and I know you might be just too busy to add another thing – but would you consider just getting a family Advent devotional and reading it together after dinner? It is such a great way to get our eyes on Jesus and off the consumerism.

I’ve been trying to purchase from small businesses this Christmas and wanted to share a small business of  my daughters  – Victorian jewelry – with a twist. Wouldn’t someone on your list – mother, sister, or daughter be blessed by one of these unique pieces?  They are perfect for that difficult to buy for person who has everything. Even their 80+ year old grandmother received a lot of complements on the peice they gave her last year. Remember – postage is always free and right now you can get a free gift with each purchase.  Check here for details Gilded Gears Events

Check out all their beautiful pieces at Gilded Gears


And for my homeschool friends – CurrClick is having their biggest sale ever – November 26 -December 16th.

Finding Joy in the Journey,

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis December 3, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Thanks for stopping by. I love the Doorpost materials.

What Joy Is Mine December 2, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Phyllis….we’re doing the Doorposts advent study as a family and GMG during our homeschool. My children are teenagers so the GMG study we can do together during their school. Thank you for sharing your post at WJIM. Blessings.

Phyllis November 30, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Thanks Nicole. I’m going to your blog now! Thanks for stopping by.

Nicole November 29, 2012 at 6:09 PM

great ideas thank you ..following thru gfc…feel free to check out my blog and follow back if you wish.

Phyllis November 29, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I’m not familiar with that one. I’ll have to look it up.

Heather N. November 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM

We’ll be doing Truth in the Tinsel with my 5 year old this year!

Phyllis November 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Me too. I think that is why this is all so refreshing and life giving to me. Blessings and thanks for stopping by.

Phyllis November 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Happy Advent Kourtney! You will be blessed by celebrating it. There are some advent materials that have little doors a child can open and you can read the Scripture verse to them or other fun things. Let me know what you find.

Phyllis November 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

And to you Laurie. I appreciate your comment. I could be an empty nester too, but have 3 young adults at home yet and love it. Happy Advent!

Tara J November 27, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Thank you for this post, I am new Christian, I am doing the GMG advent bible study, I did not grow up with advent, I grew up with Santa, so I am really enjoying learning about it all. Tara.

Laurie Kazmierczak November 26, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Bear With Me…Enjoyed reading your blog. Even though the kids have left us as empty nesters, I still like my time worn advent calendar with scripture behind each door♫ Peace to you this Advent♪

Kourtney November 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Found your blog through the Modest Mom linkup. Thank you for this great post and all of the resources you shared. My husband and I have never done Santa for our son and do only one small gift per person (my husband is getting bacon, his favorite food, and my son is getting a puzzle) in an attempt to keep our Christmas celebration simple and focused on Christ. This year we are doing away with the tree as well (a trial run). I have been wanting to celebrate Advent but have never seen it done before. I will be looking into these things you have shared to help me create our own version of Advent.

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