I really do love our family Christmas traditions. Last week I told you about our tradition of giving a new ornament to each of our children. Today I want to tell you about our green box.
We have this beautiful green wooden box with 25 tiny doors. Behind each door is a space to put a small gift or piece of candy. We don’t fill the box with gifts to open in the nights leading up to Christmas. Instead, this is our Advent Box.
Behind each door we put two slips of paper. On one piece of paper is the name of an individual or church or mission or family. That’s who we pray for that evening. On the other piece of paper is an Advent scripture reading.
We usually do our Advent reading and prayer after dinner, while we are all still sitting around the table. As a special surprise, behind a few doors, along with the pieces of paper the children may find a small piece of candy. The child who opens the door gets that piece of candy and then we pass out a piece to everybody else.
The traditional Christmas story from the book of Luke is behind door 25 because we always read that scripture passage on Christmas morning before we open any gifts. The children climb onto our bed and we all snuggle and read Luke 2 and pray for the names on that day’s slip of paper.
We used to make a construction paper chain and break off one link each night and read the name on that link and pray for that person or family. Then I found this box at Target. I don’t think they sell them now, but I do know you can find Christmas countdown boxes online — some are shaped like trees. You could also make a cloth one with pockets and put your pieces of paper in the pockets. Target does have some small cloth Christmas countdown wall-hangings in their dollar section at the front of the store. This small wall hanging has pockets and a candy cane on a string that you put in the appropriate numbered pocket that night. You could put pieces of paper in those pockets to do the Advent readings and prayer.
We all look forward to this tradition. It is one tool to help us keep perspective during this season, one tool to keep us focused on Jesus and others.