“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” ~ Matthew 1:23
Here we are in our first week of Advent! Our liturgical New Year has begun and we enter into a period of preparation for the birth of Christ.
There are so many ways to celebrate and prepare in this time. Jesse trees and feast days, candles and devotions, every family and culture with their own unique traditions. Developing these traditions in your own home and with your own family, bringing the memories of your youth and experience and blending them with those of your spouse can be beautiful. But sometimes, especially when your traditions differ because you don’t share a faith, it can be difficult.
Captain isn’t Catholic, but thankfully our Advents growing up looked a lot alike. We both lit candles each Sunday of Advent and had our chocolates from the Advent calendars. We’d adorn our homes with lights and nativity sets and decorate Christmas trees whenever schedules allowed the whole family to participate. Christmas Eve we found ourselves at church singing carols and hearing about the angels and shepherds that first Christmas night and then open presents from Santa the next morning.
Something I love to celebrate that was not part of my husband’s traditions was St Nicholas’ Day. My parents had special stockings for each of us kids and we would find them on the morning of December 6th filled with candy, with a small gift and personalized ornament for each child. These ornaments would then be put on the tree with the all the ornaments of years past. I was so excited to continue this tradition on into my marriage, but since Captain didn’t grow up with this he didn’t understand the significance of the tradition. It was sad watching it go by for several years without the excitement of finding something in my stocking. But now that we have kids, I enjoy making sure my family always have something special on December 6th.
What are some traditions you enjoyed as a child during the Advent season? What traditions do you enjoy now with your family?