A few months ago I began to ruminate on what it would look like to create a fine art Advent calendar that helped me stay centered spiritually throughout December. Like most people around the holidays, I become so caught up in all the hustle and bustle that I rarely take time to think about what the birth of Christ means for me and for the world we live in. I’m so focused on myself and my family and friends that I quickly forget about those who may not have as much to smile about at Christmas. Often the “now” of the holidays keep me from remembering the faithful that came before me, who have helped shape the hope I believe in today.
As I began brainstorming, I started to wonder what a daily centering of the Christmas season would look like and how I could share it with others. How could I make something that was simple to complete, tell the story of the nativity, and remind others of the spirit of hope each day of the Advent season? Could I do this and make it beautiful and inspirational to look at as well?
So that’s what I did. I created an Advent calendar to share the joy, hope, and mystery of the season. In the calendar, I give you prompts for action to help others, center yourself, and to create memories with friends. The images reflect these ideas and help you, and I remember who God is. I created something that tells the Christmas story slowly, throughout the season, so that you can contemplate on the beautiful details of the birth of Christ. There are insights and inspiration from a variety of historical figures of faith who’s words are wise and time-tested. This is the heart of the Advent Art Collection.
Throughout the Advent calendar, there are a variety of ways that you can connect with God. Most of these are short and straightforward, with a call to expand on what is written already on the card. There are days throughout December that share parts of the Christmas story. There are days with a simple prayer and additional scripture to read. There are days with a prayer and a simple prompt for an activity. There are days with part of a hymn quoted and a prompt to listen and soak in that hymn. There are days with beautiful quotes from a diverse group of faithful leaders from the past.
The calendar is created to either be used personally or as a family. Individually, you can meditate on the scripture, prayer, hymn or quote for the day. The prompts can be experienced alone or with a group of friends. If you are going through the calendar as a family, you can pray together, and read the Christmas story together. You can use the inspirational quotes as a starting point in learning about figures from the past. No matter how you use the calendar, it will be a starting place to guide you in what works best for yourself or your family.
I am excited to begin using the calendar myself. I know that this Christmas season I will still be busy, have fun, go to church, and most likely bicker with someone. However, I will begin each day with just a few minutes of reflection, and looking at an image to remind me of the hope and love that this season brings. Right now, there is a Thanksgiving week sale for 15% off and free shipping for your calendar, so it is a great time to invest in one for the season. I hope that you will join me! In addition, you can follow along on Instagram where I am sharing additional reflections and resources for helping others this season.