Celebrating the Advent of Christmas is a great way to gather with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Christ. This Advent Sunday tradition will help you slow down during the Christmas season!
Here's all the Advent Sunday details you need to know including: how to celebrate, German advent wreath ideas, and best Christmas goodies to enjoy.
WHAT IS ADVENT SUNDAY?
Advent is celebrated on the 4 Sundays before Christmas. Having lived in Germany, I fell in love with this German advent traditions and am excited to tell you how you can start it with your own family!
The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” Advent is a simple Christmas tradition that focuses on the advent, or coming of Christ.
I know many Catholics that celebrate Advent by reading certain prayers each week, but as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I'll show you how we celebrate it.
THE ADVENT WREATH
All you need for this Christmas activity is an advent wreath and 4 candles. You can make your own or buy a simple one. I share some examples below!
On the first Sunday, one candle is lit. On the 2nd Sunday, the first candle and another candle is lit. On the 3rd Sunday, the first 2 candles are lit in addition to the third. And then on the 4th Sunday, all 4 candles are lit.
Just like the other symbols of Christmas that help us see Christ, the advent wreath meaning is eternal life.
What do the advent candles represent?
Lighting the advent candles represents more light coming into the world the closer it gets to Jesus' birth. Isn't that a beautiful advent candle meaning?
HOW TO CELEBRATE THE ADVENT OF CHRISTMAS
If you have ever wondered "how is advent celebrated in Germany?" or you just want a really simple and sweet tradition to start this Christmas, Advent is a great one.
Advent is just one of the German Christmas traditions I brought home with me after I nannied in Germany for a year. Along with the wreath, advent calendar, and Christmas tree, Advent Sundays are a popular tradition that we love doing!
We love this Christmas tradition because it helps us slow down and savor being together while focusing on Christ.
WHAT TO DO ON EACH ADVENT SUNDAY
There is no right or wrong way to celebrate Advent Sundays. Typically it is time set aside to gather as friends and family and sing Christmas songs, read poems or stories and enjoy some Christmas goodies.
Here is how a well-known, German Christian, shared how his family celebrated the advent of Christmas:
"Starting on the 4th Sunday before Christmas, we would get together on Sunday afternoons, light wax candles on a pine advent wreath, enjoy delicious homemade cookies, and read passages of scriptures that center the Christ.
We read accounts of ancient prophets who yearned for the coming of the Messiah. We read scriptures that proclaim the wondrous story of His birth. Each week by singing beautiful Christmas songs and having a fun time together, our family tried to focus on the true meaning of the season. I must admit that delicious hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and tasty homemade cookies helped a lot to catch the joyful feeling of the Christmas season."-Dieter F. Uchtdorf
WHAT WE DO EACH ADVENT SUNDAY
To keep from reinventing the wheel each Christmas season, this is what our family does each of the Advent Sundays.
- 1st Advent Sunday- read Christ-centered Christmas stories and drink hot chocolate
- 2nd Advent Sunday- watch a Christmas Devotional with the Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square
- 3rd Advent Sunday- have a Christmas sing & share with friends and family. Each person plays, reads, or shares something that reflects the true meaning of Christmas. We have had people play the piano, ukulele, guitar, violin, and even hand bells.
- 4th Advent Sunday- sing Christmas songs, read scriptures, watch a special Christmas film like this
ADVENT SUNDAYS 2023
Here are the advent 2023 dates:
- The first Sunday of Advent is December 3, 2023
- The second Sunday of Advent is December 10, 2023
- The third Sunday of Advent December 17, 2023
- The fourth Sunday of Advent is December 24, 2023
HOW TO MAKE ADVENT SUNDAYS KID-FRIENDLY
My husband and I have been celebrating Advent since before we had children. But even now that we have 4 little ones, we still celebrate Advent and have found some simple ways to make it fun for them.
PLAY CHRISTMAS SONGS WITH HAND BELLS
We invested in this inexpensive hand bell set years ago and have our children help us play Christmas hymns on the hand bells. I created these color-coded Christmas Hand Bell Song Sheets to make it easy for even little kids to participate. Of course, we are no professional hand bell choir, but we all love it anyway.
HAVE A SING-ALONG
Another fun way to involve kids is having a sing a-long. I ordered a cheap ukulele off Amazon and this awesome Christmas Ukelele song book. The ukulele is really easy to play. And I'm serious. I have very little musical talent and I can play Christmas songs without much trouble.
I love playing Christmas songs as my children sit around and sing or look at Christmas books or eat festive goodies.
We love when we have other talented guitar or piano players who will come and play at our advent nights!
READ CHRISTMAS STORIES ON ADVENT SUNDAY
Another way you can celebrate Advent is by reading a Christ-centered Christmas story to read. Here's a list of our favorites if you need some ideas!
Advent Wreaths To Buy
Here are some simple advent wreaths. Just add candles are you are ready to start this Christmas tradition.
Tip: your advent wreath doesn't have to be fancy to celebrate this simple Christmas tradition.
ADVENT SUNDAY TREAT IDEAS
Serve some special Christmas goodies at your advent night. My children love when I pull out my cookie press and make some German kipfel. After all, German cookies are perfect for a German Christmas tradition.
- Christmas Star Cookies
- Hot chocolate bar
- Cookie press cookies (using this easy cookie press!)
- sweet chocolate chip cheese ball and vanilla wafers
- The Best English Toffee
Even if you don't have a connection to Germany/Europe like I do, you can still celebrate Advent! It's a great Christmas tradition to help you slow down, enjoy the company of family and friends, and celebrate Christ!
If you have any specific questions or need more ideas, leave a comment below! I'd love to help you start this festive and meaningful tradition with your family.