What is Advent?
Growing up, I’d go to my grandparents house every other Christmas. There were couple of things we’d always do everyday. One was light a candle on the menorah in observance and homage to Jesus’ Jewish roots (hence “our” roots as Christians).
Also, each year that I went, my grandmother had this interesting calendar that had 25 days of December. I always knew it as the 25 days leading up to Christmas, where everyday I’d move the snowflake from one day to the next.
I never knew that was Advent.
So, something I’m doing up until Christmas is this Advent 2019 bible study by SheReadsTruth. I got it as a way to celebrate the season, but also because I wanted to understand what Advent was and all that jazz.
Advent comes from the Latin words “advenire” which means “to come” or “coming” and “adventus” which means “arrival“.
In SheReadsTruth, it explains,
“[f]rom ancient times, Christians have anitcipated the celebration of Christmas with Advent, a season of hope and expectation.”SheReads Truth Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope, page 19
It further explains that Advent is a season to remember and a season to anticipate, where we celebrate Jesus’ coming and why he was sent.
A Thought on Traditions
I placed my order a bit late, so it arrived Dec. 10. As I catch up on the days (SheReadsTruth is doing a public/free/community study you can follow here), I begin to realize how traditions and this time of year really create reflection, foundations, and is a spiritual atmosphere.
Even if you don’t celebrate a “Christian” Christmas, or even just Christmas in general, a lot of other spiritual/festive holidays (i.e. Kwanza, Chanukah (Hanukkah), Winter Solstice) takes place where people just spend time with family, reflect on the year, and celebrate community and traditions within each respective culture.
Traditions are very important for human beings. It creates a sense of culture, roots, and sense of foundation.
The beauty about traditions is that they can create a sense of stability, nostalgia, and memories. Now, traditions don’t always have to be based off of how you grew up or what you feel society says should be traditions.
You can create your own traditions and your own sense of culture and foundation if you feel that what you’ve done or was raised with in the past didn’t work for you. Your traditions are yours, they aren’t dictated by society. They can be whatever you want them to be.
You can always create new traditions and leave behind old ones. You aren’t trapped in the old, but also not expected to partake in the new.
In The End, You Do You
Overall, you do you. Set your own traditions and what you feel this holiday season is all about. For me, doing a bible study, getting a cute little Advent calendar, setting up my mini Christmas tree, and celebrating Christmas is MY way. That doesn’t mean it has to be your way.
Remember, this time of year is about celebrating family and love, being grateful and giving back, and reflecting on the year. Whether that’s a time to celebrate and remember the birth of Christ and having a Christmas tree, celebrating the festival of lights with a menorah, or just passing presents and eating dinner with family; it’s all about the love and gathering of your tribe and traditions.