Many families are familiar with Advent Christmas countdowns as made popular by adorable daily calendars flooding our Pinterest feeds throughout the fall. But Advent has been observed for centuries, long before treat-filled houses with numbered doors or chocolate and toy companies offered a way for kids to count the days of December in anticipation of Christmas. Advent has become a fun, seasonal activity for kids but it’s so much more than that.
At Minno, we want to help you create meaningful shared experiences with your family and the Advent and Christmas season offer the perfect opportunity to do just that. As we share about Advent, we hope this insight will help you guide your kids to experience the true meaning of Christmas and the big love of Jesus this year.
What is Advent?
Anticipation. Expectant waiting. This is what Advent has always been and will always be about.
After Christmas began being celebrated on December 25th (in the 4th century), church leaders started to treat it similarly to Easter and asked people to worship and prepare their hearts in advance to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Christ has died, Christ has risen, and at Advent, we remember that Christ will come again.
Advent became a time to remember that we are living between two advents: the first coming of Christ (His birth) and His second coming. Today, many Christians mark the four weeks before Christmas as the Advent season, focusing each week on a different aspect of our relationship with Jesus: the hope, peace, joy, and love He brings. Advent also serves as the beginning of the liturgical calendar.
The Advent season is an opportunity to focus on Jesus and prepare our hearts to receive the gift of His love.
How is Advent observed?
Advent can be observed through a daily Advent calendar (much like those you may use), a weekly Advent candle lighting, and/or a daily or weekly Advent devotional or scripture reading.
Whatever activities you choose to participate in, it’s important to keep the focus on Christ and preparing your hearts to receive His gift.
There are various themes that can be highlighted each Sunday of Advent but the most common are:
Week 1: Hope
Week 2: Peace
Week 3: Joy
Week 4: Love
. . . . . . . . . .
Four Simple Ways to Celebrate Advent as a Family
1. Start an Advent candle tradition in your family. Find an Advent wreath or another candle holder that holds 4-5 candles. Traditionally, weeks 1-2 (Hope, Peace) are purple, week 3 (Joy) is pink, week 4 (Love) is purple, and Christmas Day (optional) is white to represent the presence of Christ. Use our Minno Advent Family Devotional and companion 5 Minute Family Devotional videos to guide your time together.
2. Use our Minno Family Fun Guide which includes a daily Advent calendar that encourages meaningful shared experiences and lots of fun each day throughout December.
3. Watch Minno Church at Home each week to follow the traditional themes of each Advent Sunday: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
4. Follow a daily or weekly scripture reading. Our free Minno Laugh and Grow Bible Advent reading plan has both options.