Listening to my curated Christmas music and starting to decorate helps me prepare to celebrate Christ coming into the world, which is what Advent is all about. Advent means “coming” in Latin. In the church it is a liturgical season that prepares us to celebrate Jesus’ birth, find hope in Christ’s return (second coming), and reminds us that there is joy in waiting. Advent is about getting our homes and ourselves ready to welcome a special guest – Jesus!
In addition to Christmas music and decorations, I read an Advent devotional. My favorite is Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas, which is a compilation of material from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henri Nouwen, Madeleine L’Engle, C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Day, and many more. Typically, I will light my at-home Advent candle(s) as part of this practice.
Sometimes I use an Advent calendar too, like the one I have included below. Their purpose is to help us take a few minutes each day to intentionally prepare ourselves for Christ coming into the world. I have also done a reverse Advent calendar like the one we are offering this year that helps others.
Whatever you do this Advent season, I hope you take time to prepare for Christ coming into the world and your life. Because Christ comes, Christ always comes, even when we do not listen to Christmas music or decorate, even when we do not prepare ourselves. Christ comes!