December 10, 2018

ADVENT.

photo via unsplash.
Every year, when December rolls around, nostalgia kicks in and I think about all of the different Christmas traditions my family celebrated, started, and continued. And when I think about those traditions, there are quite a few that I love celebrating in my own way as an adult.

One of the strongest memories I have tied to Christmas is the celebration of Advent. Growing up, my family had numerous Advent wreaths, with four candles that made an appearance on our kitchen table through the month of December. Each daughter (there's three of us!) got to light a candle and we used old hymnal books to sing Christmas songs around the table together. We read from these old Advent booklets that we got from church yearrrssss ago and used them like scripts as we read through them every year.

As the years went on, the repetition in that tradition wore me out, sibling rivalry/jealousy over candle lighting increased, teenage angst kicked in, and I never really took the time to truly understand why we celebrated and took the time out of our evenings to remember what the true meaning of Christmas really is.

Advent means "coming" and now that I'm an adult, I get a renewed giddiness over the beginning of the Advent season. While I no longer celebrate Advent in the same ways as I did as a child, I'm choosing to focus less on presents and more on being present (thank goodness for shopping early!). There's more Christmas music playing, more pauses in my day for prayer, and more journaling to reflect, too.

And this year, God's been teaching me to see Christmas in two ways--first as a celebration of Christ's birth and arrival on earth to come and rescue us. Secondly, it's a chance to put our hope in His return to earth. And I'm choosing to root my hope, my confidence, and my trust in His second coming.

"Let every heart prepare Him room"

© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall