Christmas is Coming!
Christmas comes once a year, December 25. Just like the sun comes up every day, Christmas comes once a year. It is such a magical day. There are so many songs written about it from country to classical, and movies about it from romance to comedy and fantasy. Every TV show has one or two episodes about Christmas. All about just this one day. We are reminded of this one day, December 25, constantly, throughout the year. Advent- are we ready?
Months before December we see glimpses of Christmas in stores where there are items on shelves pertaining to Christmas, like decorations such as lights, trees, and ornaments, wrapping paper, baking items, etc. Christmas albums will be released in the months leading up to December. Movies will be released with trailers being viewed in theaters and on TV throughout November. Advertisements for the newest toys and gadgets being featured for Christmas will be on every commercial.
As we get closer to December the frequency speeds up. The build up, the anticipation, the excitement! Sometimes it feels like we get so excited we can just jump out of our skin.
We can’t sleep the night before- Christmas Eve. Sometimes it seems this night is just as magical. Many people go to church for a candle light service. The only time during the year you get to hold candles at church! You come home knowing you need to put cookies out for Santa and carrots out for the reindeer. You then go to bed and pretend to go to sleep. You are listening for the bells on Santa’s sleigh, or for the “Ho, ho ho!” from Santa.
All year long the anticipation of that one day builds until it happens- and then it’s over. Have you ever asked yourself, ” What does it all mean?” “Why do we do it?”
Long before the birth of Jesus the chosen people of God had been looking and awaiting the arrival of their Messiah. He had been prophesied about promised. No one knew when He would come, many guessed when he would appear. They just knew that they should prepare for His coming.
Christmas, Christ Mass, started with the birth of Jesus more than 2000 years ago. We celebrate the gift of God’s Son to the world. So the giving of gifts started with God. Shortly after Jesus was born the Kings and wise men gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It was from this historical moment that has evolved into our Christmas as it is now.
Advent means to prepare for the coming or arrival of someone important. So, during Advent, which is traditionally the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we prepare our hearts for celebrating the birth of Jesus. We know He has already been born so we don’t have to prepare for an unknown time of arrival. Our preparation is a spiritual preparation so we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus.
When we focus on the true meaning of Christmas we don’t seem to get caught up in the “hype” of all the commercialism. Yes, we can still do the fun stuff of the tree, decorating, baking, cooking, etc. We now have a focus of why we do it all, Jesus. We celebrate the holiday because of His birth. All of the other stuff was developed around His birth. The traditions and customs followed His birth.
The Story of His Birth
The story of Jesus birth is chronicled in the Gospels of Matthew. Mark, Luke and John. The Advent would be chronicled in the Old Testament starting in Genesis, quite a few in Isaiah, and many more throughout. I will put some links to some sites that have great daily bible readings of The Advent of Our Savior Jesus. Following in this post I will put some ideas for Advent Calendars where you could print out these scripture verses and place in the calendars so you don’t always have to go online.
The following are some cute ideas I have found just surfing the web for Advent Calendars and Christmas Countdowns. The idea is to just take time out each day with your family or yourself to remember what this season is about: Jesus. We need to focus on Him so we do not become overwhelmed with the trappings of traditions and customs and “fluff.” If I have direct links to the sites, they will be provided. I also have a Pinterst Board- School Fun Home Fun- of which many of these ideas are pinned. Just click on the images below or on the links if available. I have tried to find sites that have more than one. Some of the calendars or countdowns are service related, which is also very important. Keeping the focus on others, not just on ourselves.
My intention is to give you ideas, not to inundate you. Choose what you feel would be best for your family to focus on the One who the season is about.
I hope you have a blessed holiday.