The Advent season begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continues up to Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve in some contexts. [November 29 - December 25]
Many people use or create an Advent calendar, typically made up of 24 windows containing Scriptures, stories, poems, or gifts, to count down the days until Christmas. As each window is opened and the final day draws closer, our expectation increases. This reminds us of the hopeful yet eager waiting God’s people experienced years ago as they longed for the promised Savior to come.
Another popular tradition is marking the progression of the season through an Advent wreath made up of five candles. This symbol is borrowed from the emphasis throughout Scripture of Jesus Christ being the Light of the World (Matt. 4:16; John 1:4–9; 8:12). Each week, a new candle is lit in anticipation of Christmas Eve. The last candle, called the Christ Candle, is lit on Christmas Eve to represent Jesus’ first advent. Through this theme of ever-increasing light penetrating the darkness, we see a picture of the gospel.
However you prepare for Christmas, Advent is a significant time in the life of the Church. It’s an opportunity for believers to remember God’s promise to send the One who would overcome sin and death forever. God promised a Savior, and He kept that promise perfectly.