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Could this be your family’s new Advent tradition?

11.29.18 | Advent, HPUMC Family | by Sarah Beard

Could this be your family’s new Advent tradition?

    This year the HPUMC Advent Devotional centers around the Advent Wreath and Candles. We have a locked down way to talk and pray at the table while we practice this tradition. Our kids “know” that Christmas is about Jesus, but what a beautiful way to talk about hope, joy, peace, and faith with them!

    I joined the Methodist Church about 13 years ago. One of the things I love and appreciate is the way the Church Celebrates the season of Advent. The season of waiting for the arrival of Jesus. 

    Each week lighting a candle for something we long for: Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace. And then on Christmas day, we light the center candle, the Christ Candle, which represents the fulfillment of all we desire. Even as I write this, I am overwhelmed by how GOOD Christmas is after being in a time of waiting and expectation.

    I grew up in a Christian tradition that didn’t light the advent candles, didn’t talk about a wreath, didn’t really use the word advent (that I can recall) and didn’t hold a Christmas Eve Service. We totally celebrated Jesus birth, be we didn’t talk about a season of Advent. However, we did have a crazy awesome Christmas pageant at church in which I always played a part (you are looking at a young expectant Mary right here circa 98)! No matter what the Church did, I always anticipated Christmas morning like it was new every year. 

    I have always loved everything about this season that makes it magical to me; Rudolf, frosty, and Buddy-who recently joined the team! As well, I thrive in the hustle and bustle of so many people in one place at the same time (my dream and an introvert's nightmare), the expectation of a possible winter storm, the holiday parties and preparation, and the gifts (obviously).

    I love a good holiday tradition and most of my holiday traditions revolved around family and fun.

    When our first child, Foster, was born six years ago, I really felt the need to make Christmas about more than just the “stuff” and the movies. Though on any given late night you may catch me watching one of those horrible made for TV Christmas movies… and I am unashamed to say that I LOVE them. So I searched for an Advent Wreath that I loved.

    And I could not find one, anywhere. So I made one. I made the wreath I would want to have on my table.

    Each year as a family we try our hardest to light the corresponding candles and at least say a prayer when we sit down for a meal. This looks different for us every year. Sometimes we use the church’s advent devotional. Some years we just talk about the candles and their meanings. No matter how we celebrate, what’s clear is that the advent wreath has become a tradition for us when it comes to celebrating the season of Advent.

    Let me be absolutely transparent, we do not do get to it every night of Advent (that would be considered a miracle). But we light the candles when we can and it centers us, slows us down and causes us to be thankful. My kids are five and six now and this year will be extra-special, mainly because they are into actual conversation now, things of beauty, sitting at the table (most nights), and lighting matches.

    This year the HPUMC Advent Devotional centers around the Advent Wreath and Candles. We have a locked down way to talk and pray at the table while we practice this tradition. Our kids “know” that Christmas is about Jesus, but what a beautiful way to talk about hope, joy, peace, and faith with them!

    I have a feeling this particular advent devotional will be boxed up with our wreath and used season after season.

    Happy Waiting to you and yours.

    Be part of spreading the light this Advent season: 

    In this year’s Advent Devotional, each week we’ll explore the different candle themes and what it means to spread the light of hope, peace, joy, love, and ultimately, the light of Christ. You can pick up your devotional this weekend or download a copy and follow along online.

    Download your copy!


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