Today we celebrate First Advent.
During the week I did what my Mom always did the week before the first advent.
She would create a simple centerpiece with greenery from our yard which she poked into wet oasis foam, a few sparkly pine cones and one candle for each week of Advent.
It was very simple but for us, it was the beginning of Christmas.
On the first day of December, our family would sit in the living room which in itself was special. Normally, we did not use the living room as we use family rooms today.
It was always ready in case company showed up unexpectedly.
She would light the first candle and we would sing carols together with one of us playing the piano.
She would always have a Japanese orange for each of us and a few candies which we would enjoy before bedtime.
We continued to sing carols together and enjoy a few treats every evening until Christmas.
I've added a new tradition for our family.
Since the grandkids have been toddlers, I've given them an advent calendar every year to help them to reflect on Christ's birth and the expectation of Christ coming to earth again.
I add an Advent verse and a chocolate to the little toy in the box.
This year, I invited them to come over to help me stuff their boxes and I found them reading their verses as they put them in order.
I wonder which traditions our littles will take with them when they have their own children.
The main thing is that we take time during what can be a very busy time of year to quiet our hearts each day to ponder that Christ came to earth for us.
My beloved and I don't sing carols around the the advent wreath by ourselves but there are many ways to prepare our hearts. I've signed up to receive John Piper's daily readings leading up to Christmas day.
If you are interested to also follow along the link to that invitation is here.
How do you prepare your heart for Christmas in your home?
I'd love to know what your family does.
May you be blessed and experience the joy of the Saviour during the Advent season.