Even though the Christmas aisles have been stocked at Target since Halloween, I’m still taken aback by the fact that Advent begins in a week and a half. At this time last year, I was entering the third trimester of my pregnancy with Azelie and we were surrounded by boxes in our new house…not to mention, we had never even heard the term “social distancing” and couldn’t fathom living through a pandemic. No matter how much has changed since then, for better or for worse, there is something beautiful about the fact that Advent is still arriving. Christmas is not canceled. Christ came and redeemed a broken world, and no amount of brokenness in one given year can change that.
The idea of waiting has taken on a new dimension for me this year because it has been a constant. Waiting on a baby, waiting for school to resume, waiting for a vaccine, waiting, waiting, waiting. Lord knows patience is not my strong suit, and I’ve hated the feeling of powerlessly waiting for circumstances I can’t control to change. Time and time again, the only option has been to surrender. To lean into the present, no matter what it held. To look for the good things right in front of me–to identify them, to name them, to be thankful for them. Isn’t all of life really a waiting game for heaven? Be that as it may, it doesn’t give me a hall pass to use my time on earth idly or impatiently, or to miss all of the opportunities and blessings along the way.
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…” Have these words ever sounded sweeter? As we begin the countdown to Christmas, waiting, once again, in the season of Advent for the season of rejoicing, I love the tradition of using an Advent calendar. The one hanging in my parents’ house has colored my Advent memories for as long as I can remember, and I love the idea of creating similar memories for my own kids. Below, take a peek at the watercolor Scripture cards we’ve been using for the past few years (we read the verse on the back of the day’s card after lighting our Advent wreath every evening!), as well as a round-up of other classic Advent calendars.
Do you use an Advent calendar in your home? I’d love to hear about it!