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 become 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. I also become caught up in the now of the holidays that I never think about 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. It’s not that I never hear the Christmas story, experience a service, or see a nativity scene. It’s just that these are big events, and it is hard to bring that experience along with me in the day to day life. I also have tried reading Christmas devotions each day, which can be good, but I honestly forget half the time. Either to read them or what exactly they said!
So I decided to create something to give me a simple way to be reminded of the joy, hope, and mystery of the season. To give me prompts for action to help others, center myself, and to create memories with friends. To share images that reflect these ideas and help me remember who God is. I created something to tell the Christmas story slowly, throughout the season, so that I can contemplate on the beautiful details of the birth of Christ. To find insight and inspiration from a variety of historical figures of faith who’s words are wise and time-tested. This is exactly what I have done, and it is the heart of the Advent Art Collection. This is what I will soon be sharing with you.
Throughout the Advent calendar, there will be a variety of ways that you can connect with God. Most of these are short and simple, 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 again 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. The shop will open next week. I can’t wait for you to see the final product and hope that you will join me! Follow along on Instagram until the shop is open for additional Advent Inspiration.