Advent Season 101: A Beginners Guide to Celebrating

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Raise your hand if you love the holiday season, but also slightly squirm at the idea of an overfilled calendar and an extra-long to-do list? (*insert deep inhale + exhale here*)

I see you, sister.

December usually starts with hope and optimistic anticipation. However, somewhere by mid-December I usually find myself running on my last fumes provided by adrenaline and caffeine. You too? With every day that passes by in December, I start feeling the weight of all the things “I still have to do” get heavier on my shoulders, and that “optimistic anticipation” I once felt starts fading away quicker than I can say “Christmas Shopping”. As I have conversations with my mama friends, I realize that I’m not alone in this. 

A few years ago, something lit up inside of me: a desire to slow down and align myself with what truly matters for me and my household in the season. This is when I started to learn about Advent.  

Over the last few years, I’ve slowly incorporated the peaceful and powerful practice of observing the Advent Season and I’ve realized one thing: it calms my heart and aligns me with the heart of the Season in a way that nothing else in December does. So much so that here I am writing about it to try and help some of my fellow mommas. 

Photo by @beautifullovely97

What is the Advent Season? 

The word “advent” means “coming” and the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. 

In the Advent season, we celebrate the original coming of Christ on the very first Christmas night (which is considered to be the first Advent) and we simultaneously anticipate the second coming of Christ (the Second Advent). We celebrate the salvation, hope, and grace that we already have in Christ while at the same time we anticipate the return of Jesus in His second coming. Advent is a way to press pause and meditate on the relief this brings to our hearts each day.  

Here are a few practices that have helped me press the pause button and savor the Advent season.

Advent Study

A Scripture-based Advent Study is a practical way to press pause daily and align ourselves with the true meaning of Christmas. Studies usually consist of an overall theme to focus on all season, a daily devotional along with some scripture. Some studies even include some fun Christmas-themed recipes and crafts! 

The Advent Wreath 

Have you ever heard of Advent Wreath? I hadn’t until last year and it became my favorite visual to observe the Advent season. You will usually find 4-5 candles on an Advent Wreath. Each candle has a meaning. The candles symbolize hope, love, joy, and peace and the 5th candle symbolizes the light of Christ. Each Sunday, one candle is lit. Each time you see the candle, it serves as a beautiful reminder to focus on the meaning of that Sunday’s candle. 

Kids Advent Calendar

A scripture-based kids advent calendar makes for a great way to get your kids in on the meaningful fun! We usually keep ours on the dining table and it’s the topic of conversation each night. My 5-year-old daughter loves the beautiful illustrations and is so excited that she’s usually the one to remind us about it every night!  

Not sure where to start? Here are some of our favorite Advent Season Studies!

Advent Blocks from GoodKind

Advent Blocks is a tangible, meaningful practice to help kids—and parents—anticipate Jesus, not just presents during the month of December. Each day you read a story, turn a block, and celebrate that God is coming to earth—to stay!

Instagram / Website 

Connected Christmas, A No-Stress Family Advent Experience by Kaleidoscope

The cure for the common Advent, Connected Christmas is a no-stress family Advent experience for families who want to enjoy Jesus and each other this season. Not quite a journal and not quite a devotional, it’s a shared family heirloom you create together.

Instagram / Website 

Come to the Manger Christmas Guide by Brighter Day Press 

This 4-week Christmas guide from Brighter Day Press is designed for ages 3 to 7, but can certainly include older and younger siblings as well. The plans include lessons for 4 days each week, leaving Friday as a catch-up day or to fill with your own family’s Christmas traditions.

Instagram / Website

Emmanuel by Ruth Chou Simons // Harvest House Publishers 

Miami Mom Collective Advent Guide Emmanuel Ruth Chou SimonsEmmanuel is a gorgeously illustrated Advent exploration of what it means to intimately experience God’s presence in our daily lives. Ruth Chou Simons welcomes you and your family to partake in a season of surrender as you discover the true miracle behind Christmas: that while we journey to grow in our relationships with Jesus, He has already come so He can be with us forever.

Instagram / Website 

Awaiting the Manger: Whispers of Advent in the Old Testament

Celebrate the hope of Christmas as you witness how God has written the promise of Immanuel, “God with us,” into human history! Awaiting the Manger journeys with you through the Advent season, illuminating how God used the lives of ordinary people to foreshadow Christ’s coming during the centuries and even millennia before his birth.

Instagram / Website 

HelloBible Junior and Explorer Boxes

Bring the Bible to life for your kids and grandkids in fun ways every month! Enjoy engaging crafts, Bible stories, games, and fun lessons. Perfect gift for kids ages 3-10.

Instagram / Website 

Enter to Win an Advent Resource

At Miami Mom Collective we want to equip you with the tools and encouragement you need to savor this special season. Visit the Instagram and Websites of the businesses above to grab your advent resources and check out our Instagram to enter to win one of these awesome Advent resources. 

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Janelle Fuente
Meet Janelle, a native Miamian, lively personality with contagious kindness and a lover of early morning quiet moments with a hot cup of dark coffee. She’s an advocate of pressing pause on the daily hustle to enjoy life and the people right in front of us. After building a career she adored in hospitality and marketing, she made some hard career moves once she became a momma. She’s now growing daily on the entrepreneur journey, creating a life she’s able to savor. She invites you along as she shares her favorite hospitality and small business finds across Miami and as she shares self-care knowledge, tips and tricks. She chases hard after serving her community through her work and leaving something of worth behind for the next generation. She’s a wife to husband, Gio, and momma to Olivia and Jayce. You’re invited to hang out with them @presspauseandsavor on Instagram!

9 COMMENTS

  1. This was a nice read and gave me a deeper understanding of an advent calendar. Your recommendations are all beautiful choices. Thanks!

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