Advent can be a time to build hope into your relationship as husband and wife. Light a flame of hope…

Do you celebrate Advent in your home?

For those who aren’t familiar with the term “Advent”, here’s a tiny (inadequate) summary:

Advent is the celebration and anticipation of the coming of the Messiah.  It’s observed the four Sundays prior to Christmas Day – December 25th.  Advent has both a historical significance, and a future focus by celebrating the birth of the baby Christ Jesus, and the anticipation of Christ’s return.

Sometimes Advent is celebrated only as a “church world” concept – those who are Catholics or Lutherans have richly textured traditions associated with the time period.   A European heritage can also create this family tradition.

There are also individuals who have chosen to adopt/adapt some of these traditions in their homes to teach their children about the Biblical history before the coming of Christ, and to keep the family’s focus centered on Christ during the holiday season.

We used this decoration, The Story of Christmas that includes 25 little booklets to make the events leading up to the birth of Christ a focus for our children when they were small – and now also for our grandboy.

Last year we bought the grandboy this little Fisher-Price Little People Nativity set to play with as we read him the story of Christmas. He was only a year old (last year) so it was his first introduction to Christmas. It made this time new for Rob and me too!

A wreath.

Some observe the four weeks before Christmas (called Advent) by using a candle-lit wreath.

Each Sunday a candle is lit  – until Christmas arrives.

Light a candle for hope - Celebrate advent

In some traditions, each candle has a specific focus:  Hope – Joy – Love – Peace.

Bible verses are read, carols are sung and sometimes a guided study is used to create a feeling of anticipation and expectation.  (Instead of just counting down the shopping days till the 25th)

Advent can be a time to light a flame in our heart.

With all the stresses of a modern-time holiday season – the hustle, and bustle- how much time do you spend with your spouse just enjoying a moment of quiet? 

Does the opportunity for quiet contemplation pass you by?

Even if your kids are grown and gone – and you’re not focused on “teaching” little people entrusted into your care, you and the one-you-love can be deliberate about anticipating the true gifts of Christmas.

This week, try enhancing the mood in your relationship by lighting a flame:

Light one candle for Hope…

Light one candle – a flame – for Hope! 


  • read about the greatest Hope –  Christ.  Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-24
  • listen to (or sing along with) the hymn :

Spend some time in quiet – and think and talk about the precious HOPE that God provided for all of us!  How has this HOPE shaped your life?  How would you like it to shape your future?

Let the flame of HOPE grow bright in your hearts!

How have you anticipated Christmas in years past? 

Do you have any special ways you and your family prepare?

Here are two other Christmas traditions our family has: we do plates and we play a game to start conversations and tell stories!

light the flame of hope - begin a new tradition with your spouse this Christmas - let your family join in

(PS – I’ve updated this post since it was first written in 2011 – The grandboy was born in 2015. And I’ve included some affiliate links to a few products.)