The countdown is on. This year, Advent officially starts on December 3 and takes place on the four Sundays before Christmas, when we honor the birth of Jesus Christ and share the excitement and anticipation of Christmas day.
Each Sunday focuses on a weekly theme where we can explore our divine nature. Each day carries a spiritual message as we experience the true meaning of Christmas and share our deeper gifts with the world.
Week 1: HOPE
It’s what keeps us going: believing in the possibility of a positive outcome and stepping out in faith with the strength of our desires and faith in a higher power.
Week 2: PEACE
Knowing that we are never alone and that the Lord is always by our side, especially in troubled and difficult times. Calm the mind and trust in the wisdom, power, and grace of God.
Week 3: JOY
Just like children remind us of the joys of living, learning, and laughing, our inner child needs us to relax, release, and enjoy the present moment. Become grateful and mindful of all we have.
Week 4: LOVE
We are all one in God’s love. In essence, it is who we are – unconditional love. There is no greater power in the world than love. Love is about taking action. Share your gifts with others by putting hope, peace, and joy into action.
The true meaning and purpose of Advent involve preparing the heart and home for Christmas and inviting us to slow down, reflect, pray, and nurture our spiritual growth.
As we are waiting and getting prepared for the birth of Jesus Christ, we tend to get caught up in the frenzy of the holiday noise. Keep the festivals centered on what’s really important. Traditions that are simple, fun, and meaningful create memories, and during Advent, they serve as a reminder of the importance of the holy spirit that dwells within our hearts.
Throughout the world, different cultures celebrate Advent with many cherished rituals, such as putting up the tree and decorations, lighting the candles for the Advent wreath, listening to music and singing Christmas carols, praying and devotional readings of the Scriptures, doing good deeds and helping others in need, preparing traditional dinners and baking Christmas cookies, and the popular Advent calendar where each day they receive a special gift.
Take the time to make the season extra special, just as you would if you were to receive a special guest at your home. Capture those simple moments as you experience the miracles and light that each and every day brings you and be more present with each other – the greatest gift of all.
Antoinette Giacobbe M.A.