Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

First Sunday of Advent

Tomorrow is Sunday, November 28th and the First Sunday in Advent. Advent (from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming") is a season of the Christian church, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus; in other words, the period immediately before Christmas. Born and raised Roman Catholic, I was taught to celebrate the advent of Christ's birth. For me, this has always marked the beginning of the festive season, full of excitement and anticipation. It wasn't so much about the gifts, because I wasn't raised in a wealthy environment with lots of material things so I didn't expect much, but it was a time of profound wonder, hope and possibilities - when anything could happen. Christmastime (and Easter) has always been my most favorite time of the year. One of the things I remember doing at home with my parents is sitting at the table with the candle(s) lit, reciting a little children's poem (in German) before having our cookies and beverage.


Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt
Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei dann vier
Dann steht das Christkind vor der Tuer.

In English: Advent, Advent a little light burns First one, then two then three then four then stands the Christchild at the door.

Funny, the little things we remember! (...and the big things we forget - or at least try to.) Please note that when I grew up in Germany, eons ago, I recall only seeing red candles on the Advent wreaths; however, it is common to see three lilac and one pink candle, each having a significant meaning (and a name) as does the Advent wreath itself. Anyway, for those of you that celebrate Advent (and by the way, it's not just us Catholics that do, but Lutherans, Protestants, Anglicans and Episcopalians, for instance, do also and any church that uses a Liturgy would recognize Advent), I hope you have a wonderful first Advent Sunday. Celebrating with an Advent wreath during the weeks prior to Christmas is a great way for Christian families to keep Christ at the center of Christmas, and for parents to teach their children the true meaning of Christmas. Another Advent tradition that can be very meaningful and fun for children is to celebrate with the Jesse Tree. Although I have never done that as a child, I think it's a great way to divert children's attention away from themselves and their gifts, but to focus on the real reason for the season.

Remember to get your Advent Calendars out on Tuesday, Nov. 30th, so you and/or the kids can open your little windows starting on Wednesday, Dec. 1st. I still have to buy one for myself. Counting down to Christmas by opening a window every day (some of which have little pieces of chocolate in them) reminds me of my childhood in Germany. I established a whole bunch of little Christmas traditions since living alone, like watching "The Grinch" and "White Christmas" religiously, since family gatherings are a thing of the past.

When I first came to the USA from Germany in 1971, Advent Calendars were not as common, but now they are virtually everywhere, so nobody should miss out on the fun. Anticipation is - after all - a big part of the Christmas celebration..

11 comments:

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

I used to have some Advent calendars with very beautiful graphics and little windows and doors that would open to reveal a bird, child, wreath, candle, etc. behind them...so pretty...I know Hallmark has some out now, but they do not have the chocolate. I did see the ones with chocolate at Walgreens...

Yes, funny we can remember little things from childhood, but cannot remember things like our own telephone numbers...lol...

Kisses to Gizzy and Middi.

Fairy Footprints said...

Doris what fun, I love the candles. I love this Catholic advent tradition you have, my dad is Catholic but he never really spoke too much of the traditions, this sounds neat.

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

Blessings


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Julies knitting corner said...

Hi Doris, I am not a Catholic but I like the sound of the advent tradition you have. Your candle display is lovely. best wishes Julie.C

Debbie said...

Sounds like a nice tradition. 1 year, I let my 2 kids eat a candy cane off the tree each day, starting the week before Christmas. It was a fun way for them to count down the days! Have a great Sunday!

Aunt Pitty Pat's Fun said...

What an exciting decoration.. I just love the huge red candles.. Thank you for sharing some of you holiday traditions with us..
I have to tell you I watched you video with your fur babies and it was adorable.. I just wish I could move like that now!
M

Kerrie said...

Doris, I loved he Advent Post!! The wreath is beautiful! Loved the verse in German, too! I had not been able to visit with my company here so had to catch up from Thanksgiving! I had no idea that you were in a wheelchair! I am glad that you have new hips!! God Bless always. I loved the pictures of the Cypress knees with the white geese in the background. ♥ Kerrie

Samantha G said...

Huh. I went to a Catholic high school, but not actually being Catholic myself, I had no idea what Advent really was. I guess they never explained it since 90% of the kids at the school were Catholic, we were just expected to know. Thanks for the lesson!

-Samantha

gin said...

what lovely memories you had as a child. Go get your Advent calendar and enjoy the season. Because it is all about the Christ Child.

gin said...

hi doris, yes that was my turkey on my table in the picture on my post. We fry our turkey every year. It comes out so perfect looking every time. It tastes pretty good too.

sarah said...

Dear Doris ~ I have found another link to the Jesse tree advent calendars! This one with beautiful, 'grown up' type decorations. If you visit this website http://www.aholyexperience.com/ the little e-book is a free download from her rss feed! She has some beautiful thoughts in her book.

Love,
Sarah

nima said...

So nice to read about advent tradition. It's so good to know about this tradition from your part of the world. Being an orthodox christian, we have advent, but we don't have the tradition to light the candles..we have specific bible readings for these sundays and we are on 25 days Lent.. I think, advent calender and candle tradition is really great to follow, so that kids in the new generation will have memorable advent...Have a lovely advent time..