All of us have additional responsibilities during the Christmas season. The month and a half before New Year’s is perhaps the busiest of our year. So many presents to shop for, wrap and send, so many parties and school programs to attend, even extra church services, not to mention the extra cooking and decorating.
How can we keep Christ the center of this season? It is easy to forget the small child in the Nativity scene. He is so quiet and peaceful while all around is a festive frenzy. When our children were in early elementary we were able to focus their attention on the coming of Christ by observing a simple advent celebration.
Many churches have no structured approach to the celebration of Christmas. But, some do still observe Advent. The four Sundays prior to Christmas make up the Advent Season. We assembled our own simple advent wreath out of pine from the yard and dollar store candles. Four white candles in a circle and a purple one in the center. Each Sunday we would read from our Bible prescribed verses found in an Advent book (ours came from Focus on the Family) but they are readily available online.
The first Sunday only one candle is lighted, then the second Sunday two are lit and so on. As each candle was illuminated the children were able to focus their excitement on the coming birth of the Promised Child rather than on a hoped for gift. It was a special season of our lives. Maybe we should bring that Advent wreath back this year – I need to focus on Christ – how about you?