Some Advent Calendars are anticipating the birth of Jesus and others are anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus. If you're new to Advent, Dr. Allen Trafford, Pastor of Covenant Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Lake Jackson says it's a way to celebrate the days before Christmas. "Often in Christian Advent Calendars you will have prophecies from The Old Testament each day that look forward to the coming of Christ. The children will get excited, but not about the gifts - but about the coming of Christ, and that's important to us."
There are calendars that have nothing to do with the anticipation of the birth of Jesus. Dr. Trafford: "You can get 24 types of tea - or whatever are in these little boxes, or types of chocolate (I like that idea!). It's a counting down to Christmas." He says the calendars have a little compartment for each of the 24 days before Christmas. Some may have a small piece of candy, while others have special Bible verses in them. Trafford says it began when people lit candles every day and churches have followed. "Over the years we wound up with 4 purple candles for each of the 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas; one white one in the middle representing Christ which is lit on Christmas Day itself."
The 4 candles represent Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.