As Anglicans who are trying to honor the season of Advent, I thought I’d share a few of the things that we’re doing this season in lieu of putting up our tree on Thanksgiving day—not that there’s anything wrong with that! In fact, my kids have asked if we can put the tree up *this* weekend and since they’ll be on a camping trip *next* weekend—which is when I had planned to put it up—we’ll probably do just that. But my early December decorating has significantly scaled back over the last few years as I’ve become increasingly intentional about honoring the waiting time before December 25.

This year, in an effort to try and simplify, we’re basically doing two things: reading together the daily Advent post from this website while lighting our Advent wreath, which has a daily candle that travels closer and closer to Christmas. I love the devotions, artwork, and music from the Biola site. After we read, we listen to the song and read about the visual *and* musical artists. 

Advent

Our favorite family album for Advent is Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God.” The story told through songs—which you can also enjoy live in person by Peterson and friends at various venues leading up to Christmas—starts with the Old Testament prophesies of a messiah’s birth, traveling all the way through his arrival. The song “Matthew’s Begats” is a particular favorite of my kids, who love to sing along with the live version (“…which isn’t really true but it rhymes…”). 

Additionally, instead of more traditional songs/hymns, we’re listening to a new Advent album this year from Rain for Roots called “Waiting Songs,” several of which, coincidentally, feature Andrew Peterson’s daughter, Skye. We’ve only had it for a couple of days, but we can’t get enough of it. I started to list our favorite tracks but honestly, all of them are good for one reason or another. Check out their website for a neat video about how the album came to be + preview each of the songs.

I also came across this Spotify playlist that I intend to listen to while I create my own new one as we discover new music through our Advent devotional website.

Other Advent resources that we’ve used in the past include Ann Voskamp’s Jesse Tree devotionals, now also available as a book (and this and this one that includes a DVD) and Phil Vischer’s “Everyday Emmanuel” (free on Kindle or a paperback here). I personally also love handmade Advent calendars (just search Pinterest and you’ll find a wealth of creative ideas!), but we’re not doing one of those this year. In the past, my boys have loved Lego’s Advent calendar and it looks like there’s even a Star Wars version this year!

Do you celebrate Advent? What are your favorite Advent traditions?

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