“The arrival of a notable person, thing or event,” is one definition of advent. “A coming into place, view or being an arrival” is another. A third would be “the coming into being or use.” Regardless of where you go the definition is similar, a coming or arrival. Starting December 1st we come into what is known as the Advent Season, twenty-four days of anticipation of what the world considers the arrival of a notable person. I know December 25th isn’t Jesus’ actual birthday, but there is no denying He would be considered a notable person, someone whose arrival should be celebrated.
Now if you are like me you had an Advent Calendar growing up. I didn’t think of it that way. I just remember the candy that was behind every slot we opened each morning! Holly took a little different approach, purchasing a reusable cloth calendar where each year she would fill the slots with treats or family activities. And once the kids were grown and out of the house, well it was adapted for the dogs--with puppy treats in it each day. Either way, it was the countdown to a notable event--the time when our culture celebrates the birth of Jesus.
I want to encourage you to have an Advent Calendar of sorts, starting December 1st and running until the celebrated arrival of our Savior into this world. Now this calendar would be a little different, though it would be connected with treats. They would not, however, be treats that are extremely pleasing to our pallets, but pleasing just the same. As with the reusable one Holly had, this also would require some planning ahead. Plan each day through the Advent Season to do or say a kind thing to someone. Maybe you pick a person for each day and send them a text, email or note. Maybe you go out of your way to call or stop by, just to say you appreciate them. Maybe, well you are probably more creative than I am, you come up with something else to do. Regardless do an Advent Calendar of Kind Words or Deeds.
Another way you could go about this is in prayer. Pick a person to pray for each day during this time. Maybe it is someone who you have heard is struggling physically or spiritually. Maybe it is a number of friends who you care very much for and you just want to remember them in prayer this season. This is also something you could do as a family, sitting down at some point in the day to just pray, which is hard to do in the fast paced lifestyles we seem to have; but, what a treat to your family to spend this time together!
Whether you do an Advent Calendar of some sort or not, let’s make sure we don’t let the commercialism of the season overtake the underlying reason for this season. This doesn’t mean you have to be a Scrooge or Grinch all month! I’m not trying to steal the fun of giving and getting presents; but, just not wanting to let all of that get in the way of being people who see what a wonderful opportunity we have at this time of year to reach out to others as they think of the Savior coming into the world and laying in a manger.
Filling my Calendar,