Last night, we lit the first candle of our Advent Wreath, the "Promise Foretold" candle. My Dad made our "wreath" this year by slicing a piece off of a fallen tree on my parents' property and boring holes in it for candles. I absolutely love it. Despite the absence of evergreen, the tree itself still represents life, and I love it.
As we settled down to light the first candle, I suddenly had a moment of panic. I couldn't find our Advent book anywhere! If you've followed me through any Christmas, you know that I love Advent, and that little book is a huge part of our tradition. Printed in 1994, it was the same booklet of readings that we used when I was a kid, given to us by our church. I'll admit, I was a bit frantic trying to find it. Our peaceful Advent moment was quickly turning into one of those Mommy's Gone Crazy moments when I suddenly remembered that two years ago, I had typed out those same readings on this blog. I searched the archives and, sure enough, there they were! I'm not kidding, I may have wiped away a tear or two. I treasure these readings and this tradition, especially now that my kids are at the age where they are beginning to really understand it.
I wanted to link the readings here, in case you are in need of some easy, kid-friendly Advent readings. Even if you missed yesterday's candle lighting, you can start today. If you don't have an Advent wreath, they are easy to make--really, just take a fake wreath and stick some candles in it. Bam. In the midst of the increasing glitziness and shimmer that shroud the Christmas season, it's great to remember the importance of simplicity, especially with our kids. They will remember the tradition, the quiet readings and the flames in the darkness, regardless if the wreath is big or small, or if the candles are straight or crooked or mismatched. Each reading highlights a different part of the Christmas story and includes questions to get our kiddos talking.
There is a reading for every Sunday in Advent, hence, the four candles. In our tradition, we include a candle in the center of the wreath, the Christmas Candle, to be lit on Christmas Day.
Have a lovely day.