What we do in our faith tradition is highly countercultural. When the calendar rolls over to December, our faith tradition calls us to something other than Christmas—Advent. This year, Advent begins on December 1. While the rest of the world is decked in red, green, silver, and gold, we are adorned in the brilliantly deep blue-purple hue known as “Sarum blue,” a name derived from the Latin word for Salisbury, UK—the cradle of all things Anglican.
If you’re looking for fun family activities during Advent, try one of these: (1) make an Advent wreath and observe your own candle lighting at home; (2) read or sing and meditate on the verses to Hymn 56 (O come, O come, Emmanuel) and talk about the images and characters mentioned in the verses; (3) slowly assemble the family manger scene/crèche with each character beginning its journey from somewhere else in the home, and remember, Jesus doesn’t appear until Christmas night!
When invited to the office holiday party, don’t wear a Christmas sweater. Instead, don your best blue or purple attire. You’ll stand out in the crowd. If anyone should ask you if you’re sad or why you’re not in the holiday spirit, just tell them, “It’s Advent. Christmas doesn’t begin until Christmas night and lasts a whole 12 Days!” For when the secular calendar hits December 26, Christmas is over and the rush to put it all away begins in haste. However, for those of us liturgical Christians, Christmas has just begun!