Thursday, December 5, 2013

An Advent Calendar with BONUS days :-)

"Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming". (wikipedia)

After returning to Florida, Jason and I put up our Christmas tree and decorated for Christmas!

I realized it would be my first Christmas as a wife, and in a new home.  While Jason and I both bring some Christmas traditions to our new family, we also have the opportunity to start our own traditions.

Growing up, I remember my mother giving my brother, sisters and me advent calendars.

An advent calendar can have many forms, but ours were usually a picture of a Christmas scene portrayed on a firm piece of paper, with 24 or 25 small pop-out windows that would reveal a picture or scripture -- one for each day of December.  The idea is to open one each day as you anticipate the coming of Christmas.

Last year, one of my roommates gave me an advent calendar with chocolate in it for each day!

This past Sunday, our pastor spoke about how even though we live in an "instant gratification" society, America still takes time to wrap Christmas presents, put them under the tree, and WAITS to open them.

Waiting for presents, and the waiting experienced through the advent calendar reminds us that we are to wait expectantly for Jesus.

Not wanting this Christmas to fly by without any kind of planned traditions, and really connecting with the "Waiting" idea from our pastor, I decided our little family of 2 needed an advent calendar.

A solid tradition and a way to 'wait' as the birthday of Jesus draws near.

So, I looked up advent calendars online.  I found an advent calendar for just about every topic.  My favorite were "advent calendars for newly married couples."  I read a couple of these ideas to Jason.

One girl wrote that she and her husband took turns writing notes to each other - she took the even days, he took the odd days.  Another girl wrote about how they planned a small adventure for each day.  Being newly married, I of course really liked these ideas!

But as I kept thinking about it, I realized that the main purpose for advent calendars is to keep the focus on waiting for Jesus coming, not necessarily to write notes to your significant other - although I still think that's pretty sweet! :-)

Prior to Jesus being born, there were lots of people who told of his coming and prepared for it.  So much of scripture walks God's people through the waiting period leading up to His coming.

I researched scripture-based advent calendars.  I didn't find any one in particulair that I liked, so I decided to use a combination and also look up my own scriptures.

I learned so much reading through various scriptures.  I found several that pointed to Jesus birth, other specific prophesies being fulfilled, and also New Testament teachings that connected with aspects of his birth or life. **

I printed the verses on stiff paper, and then glued Christmas wrapping paper or Christmas gift bags to the back of the paper.

I numbered them 1-25, folded them, and put them in a jewelry mat-hanger thing that I had gotten a while ago, but hadn't used yet.

It's perfect for our advent calendar!

Jason and I read the first two days together since I didn't finish it til Dec 2.  The pockets allow us to leave the days "open" after we read them.

The next day, Jason said, 'I still have some things I'm working on.'

I said, "What do you mean?"

He said, 'You did the scriptures for our advent calendar, but I'm going to do some bonus days."

And the next night, he worked on something  and then stuck these two pieces of paper in the calendar for days 6 and 7. (see picture)

He said "I will add more later."

I'm not allowed to look, so I have no idea what the bonus is :-)

I can't tell you how exciting it is to wait for the bonus days!!!  So fun!!

So, for this month of December, we will wait.

Jason will wait to see what scriptures I have prepared for each day.  I will wait for the special days that he has prepared as a bonus.

We both will be reminded of how we are waiting for our Lord's birthday during this season in particular.  After Christmas, we will continue to wait expectantly for His second coming.

**Here is a link to the document of verses I've prepared if you are interested!**
(or copy and paste this into your browser: )

1 comment:

Sherry Bitler said...

This is great Elizabeth. How fun and how helpful to keep looking to Jesus.

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