When I was a small child my grandparents brought us little chocolate advent calendars from Germany for Christmas.
Another countdown was a quilted candy cane that my mother made, with one candy each day for the 24 days in December leading up to Christmas.
In a family of six siblings, somehow we survived the exquisite torture of waiting for each sibling to take a turn devouring the candy until it was our special night again.
Some years we would read a scripture or story each night as Christmas approached, and burn a special candle just a little bit while we read.
It wasn’t until much later than I understood that the purpose of Advent was to prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of the birth of Christ. What was once simply a pretty little tradition became deeply meaningful for me.
This year I’m adding another Christmas Advent tradition to the others that I cherish.
Years ago I learned that in preparation for Passover, many Jewish families clean every nook and cranny of their home. Aside from the practicality of this tradition, I love the symbolism behind cleaning our homes to prepare them for holy celebrations.
I love how it mirrors sweeping away the cobwebs that build up spiritually in our hearts due to neglect.
A New Kind Of Advent
To prepare my own home for Christmas, I’ve created an Advent for my home. It can be easily adapted to your home too!
- Organize and clean the laundry room
- Organize the shelves and desk in the dining room
- Dust, mop and polish the dining room
- Dust and clean the stairway
- Clean the refrigerator, inside and out
- Organize upper kitchen cupboards
- Organize lower kitchen cupboards
- Dust, polish and mop the kitchen
- Organize the bathroom cupboards
- Deep clean the bathroom
- Organize the hallway closet and vacuum
- Organize the kids’ drawers, shelves and closet
- Deep clean the kids’ room
- Organize master closet and shelves
- Dust and polish master furniture
- Vacuum master bedroom floors and wash walls
- Organize family room shelves and cupboards
- Dust and polish family room furniture
- Clean family room floor and fireplace
- Organize and clean entryway closet
- Dust and polish living room furniture
- Clean living room floors and windows
- Take toys, books and clothing to DI (thrift shop)
- Freshen up each room
They seem like such simple, mundane things, don’t they? But simple and mundane can also describe fields of sheep and shepherds, mangers and stables and hay.
Each day is a step toward making room for the peace and hope of the Christmas season.
Please feel free to share the ways you remember Christ at Christmastime in the comments below! When you have a few moments, I also recommend this beautiful video reminder of the very first Christmas gift.