Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent, Advent. . .

My family lived in Germany for three years while I was young. Since then we have felt that it was our prerogative to pick and choose various German traditions to adopt. One of those traditions is celebrating advent. You may have heard President Uchtdorf speak of it in the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. On the four Sundays before Christmas, we sit around our wreath. We light one candle the first Sunday, two the next, three the next, and all four candles on the Sabbath before Christmas. There is a short rhyme we like to repeat. Roughly translated it goes:

Advent, advent, a little candle burns
First one, then two, then three, then four
Then comes the Christ-child to your door

We enjoy Christmas goodies, and sometimes sing carols. I always enjoyed those quiet moments watching the little candles flicker. Thinking about the baby Jesus, born on some dark night in a stable. What an amazing young woman Mary had to have been to endure that experience. But what a heavenly peace must have surrounded them in the miracle of bringing forth that child.

I love using candles to celebrate the holidays. Watching candles in the dark transports me to another time. I feel closer to that baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. I forget the noisy world that distracts me when the lights are all turned on.

Although I am not a German, I'd like to invite all Americans (that means you) to adopt their celebration of advent. It's a wonderful way to enjoy spending more time in our holiday season contemplating the birth of the Savior. And I'm sure the Germans won't mind.


Sheffer's said...

We love celebrating Advent, too! I'm part German and part Czech, so it came down from my Grandparents. We use 3 pink and one purple candle in our wreath. (lighting the pink ones first, and the purple one the week before Christmas) Then we switch them all out to white on Christmas day for Christmas dinner, since Christ has come. It's a wonderful tradition and I think it really helps remind us of the real reason for this season! I'm glad to hear someone else enjoys it, too!

Melissa said...

What a wonderful tradition! I love the small lights of the season that remind us of the light of the Savior. I hope you guys have a very Merry Christmas.

Tyler M. said...

Very cool Jeanette. The boys will love those memories growing up and passing them on to their families.


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