The word advent means coming. The season of Advent is simply a time of preparation for celebrating the coming of the Christ child.
The most common way to observe Advent is to have weekly or daily times of reflection and worship, which often include the lighting of Advent candles. Candles represent the light that Jesus brought into the world. John 1:9 says, "The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world."
There are a few advantages of observing Advent. One is that we ensure that our focus is on what's really important...Christ's birth. Another is that we slow down, spend time with our families, friends, and God. We rest from the busyness of shopping, decorating, baking, etc.
Everything does not have to happen on a perfect Christmas Day. We have a whole season in which to enjoy our reflection, worship, celebration, and fellowship. In the difficult economic times we are facing, many are approaching this Christmas with feelings of sadness or loss because they cannot afford to do or give what they would like.
My hope for this Advent season is that you will create experiences that will be even more meaningful and fun for you and your family. You could ask family members or friends to start preparing now for Christmas Day... musical fun, readings, play or skit, family trivia game, watch home movies, or plan for some other activity to make the day more special.
Praying that you'll fall deeper in love with our Savior this season!