What You'll Need:
Email or mailing addresses for your families
What You'll Do:
Help families mark the four weeks of Advent by sending mailings
that focus on the traditional theme associated with each candle on
the Advent wreath. These mailings, brief enough to fit on a
postcard, will remind families that Jesus, the Light of the world,
is coming soon.
Week 1: A Week of Hope
Over the next four weeks, you'll receive mailings to help you
celebrate Christmas with an Advent wreath. If your family doesn't
already have an Advent wreath, buy or make a simple circular wreath
that'll hold four (or five) candles. These candles remind us of the
approaching birthday of Jesus, the light of the world.
According to tradition, each candle has a special meaning. The
first one, usually purple, is called the candle of hope. People in
the Old Testament knew that God had promised to send a Savior. And
we're filled with hope because we know that Jesus came to Earth on
the first Christmas so he could tell people about God and die for
Light the first candle on your Advent wreath and read aloud
Romans 15:13. Then share some ways that you're filled with hope
because you know Jesus.
Week 2: A Week of Preparation
The second candle on an Advent wreath, usually purple,
represents preparation. Just as we get our homes and churches ready
for Christmas, we also get our hearts ready for baby Jesus.
As a family, brainstorm a list of things you do to get ready for
house guests. Talk about what you would do differently if Jesus
were coming to stay at your house.
Read aloud Mark 1:3-4. Say: John the Baptist, Jesus'
cousin, spread the word that Jesus was on his way. Part of our
preparations for Christmas can include letting other people know
what Christmas is all about-the birth of our Savior.
Light the first two candles on your Advent wreath and pray that
God will bless your preparations for his son's arrival.
Week 3: A Week of Joy
The third candle on an Advent wreath, usually pink, symbolizes
joy. Christmas excitement is building as the holiday quickly
Read aloud Luke 2:10. Say: The angels made a big
announcement on the first Christmas, calling Jesus' birth 'good
news' that would bring 'great joy.' Everything we do to get ready
for Christmas can fill us with joy about Jesus. When we're joyful,
we, like the angels, can help spread that good news.
Light the first three candles on your Advent wreath. Then let
each person share one thing they're especially joyful about this
Week 4: A Week of Love
The fourth candle on an Advent wreath, usually purple, is often
called the candle of love. Christmas happened because of God's
great love for all people.
As your family gathers to open Christmas gifts, talk about why
we give nice things to people we love. Ask: What are some
of the most memorable gifts you've received? How can you tell when
much love and thought go into a gift?
Read aloud John 3:16. Say: At Christmas, God gave us the
best gift ever. He sent his Son, Jesus, to live, die, and rise
again so we could live with him forever in heaven. Although this
gift required great sacrifice, God knew we needed
Light all four candles on your Advent wreath. (If you have a
fifth candle, usually white, light it on Christmas Day, as the
Christ candle.) Close in prayer, thanking our loving God for
sending Jesus as our best Christmas gift.