Last year was the first time for this Advent tradition in our family. It is basically an expansion of the traditional advent wreath; instead of lighting five candles we light one for each night. Before the candle is lit we read two passages of Scripture together- one from the Old Testament that foreshadows the coming of Christ in some way, and another from the New Testament that highlights how it was fulfilled in Him. We talk about the significance together and then with candles lit and lights out we sing a Christmas carol or hymn about that aspect of Christ's coming.
Coming up with the Scripture passages was really a great Bible Study for Ryan and me. It also has really helped me to think more deeply about the meanings of Christmas carols. The log itself was made by my father. Isn't it beautiful?
It was made it out of a poplar tree that he cut down in our woods. He flattened the log, and then drilled holes in the top for the candles.
We would like to build on this tradition by coming up with corresponding symbols for each night and doing something hands-on with our children with those images, but we haven't worked out the details yet.
I would love to hear about ways that you help capture the anticipation of Christ's coming with your family. Please feel free to share!