Preparing to Prepare

Don’t you hate how everything is all about Christmas already? Aren’t you even more tired of people complaining about it? Yeah me too, on both accounts. But here’s the thing, I have been thinking about Christmas too. Not really so much about Christmas trees and lights and Santa. I’ve been thinking about how I can bless and give to those I love, and about the anticipatory nature of the days leading up to the mainstream celebration of the first coming of Jesus Christ.

We never really did advent calendars when we were kids, but our church always kept the tradition of the advent wreath, lighting a candle each Sunday in preparation and anticipation of the Christmas holiday. I did a little bit of research today on the history of advent, and I found out that the observation of advent has been dated back to the 6th century. Traditionally, it was not ever meant to be included in the Christmas holiday, but rather meant as a time of preparation for the Christmas holiday. I like the idea of taking the whole month of December to prepare my heart for Christmas, and advent calendars can be a great tool for that. Here’s a DIY that I found that I think is pretty cool especially for kids and is very reusable so you only have to make it once!

Click this photo for the tutorial!

The thing is, if I were doing this for myself, I would include a scripture passage in each bag and a little emblem that represents the scripture instead of the random Christmas-themed items this tutorial uses. I think it’s important to keep the reason for the calendar centered on God and what he has done for each person by sending Jesus as a tiny baby that night in Bethlehem. While I’m not sure I’ll get around to doing something this extravagant this year, I do want to take a little time to research some good Bible passages to read each day as Christmas draws ever nearer.