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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Advent Virtues

LL Bean Advent Calendar - Cape Elizabeth, ME Lighthouse  

I've been looking around for a way for our children and grandchildren to observe Advent without observing "Advent," per se. 

That is, some of our kids are spiritual but not necessarily religious; one is Quaker, not Christian.

However, everyone in our family observes Christmas. Several times, in fact, with their family unit and their larger family and with us at "Little Christmas". Not just the Christ child, necessarily.

I suspect there are lots of families like us out there. 

So, with a little help from my friends on FaceBook, I've come up with 25 Virtues - I'm calling them "Advent Virtues" - that can be considered each of the 25 Days of Advent. They are not necessarily "Christian" but I think Baby Jesus and his parents, Mary and Joseph, would heartily approve.

My plan is to use them in an Advent Calendar - print them out on little strips of paper and tuck them into the drawer or pouch along with a traditional sweet treat.

They can also be printed on colored paper or ribbon to decorate an Advent Wreath.

Or, they might be printed on a strip of colored paper and hooked together to make garland for the tree or mantle.

Or, perhaps written on a slip of colored paper and put into a decorated jar and taken out one at a time on each of the days of Christmas.

These were written in no particular order. You may want to make them all in the same form of a "wish" or "bidding prayer". You may want to define a particular virtue in your own way. Or, you may want to compile your own list of virtues.

Please feel free to use them in whatever way suits you for your own family or intergenerational Advent church activity.

The first Sunday of Advent is November 29th. Prepare ye the way! 


Patience: May you have the grace to see what waiting brings.

Intelligence: May you use your mind to the benefit of yourself and others.

Kindness: May you know it and show it to humans and animals alike, and may in return to you in kind.

Perseverance: If you fall down seven times, may you get back up again eight times.

Moderation: May you find a balance between work and play and discover the path to wholeness of life. 

Courage: When you are afraid, may you be able to walk through your fear.
Thankfulness: May you always know that everyone needs help at some point. Including you.

Confidence: May you always have faith in yourself.

Curiosity: May a sense of awe and wonder lead you to learning and discovery.

Faith: May you have the courage to trust without reservation that all will be well.

Humility: May your mistakes always be opportunities to learn – and share.

Compassion: May you always want to help, even if all it means is to listen and say kind words.

Excellence: May your every effort be guided by an impulse for nobility and a desire for perfection.

Generosity: May you know that whatever you give away will come back to you in other ways.

Forgiveness: When you or others make a mistake, have faith that you – and they – can change.

Idealism: May you dare to have big dreams and act as if they are possible.

Tolerance: May you understand that people have feelings, hopes and dreams, just like you, only different.

Honesty: May you accept yourself as you are so that others may trust in you and rely on you.

Enthusiasm: May the inspiration you draw from life find its way to inspire others.

Courtesy: May you speak and act with kindness and respect so others feel affirmed and valued.

Wisdom: May you reside in the place where mind and heart meet.

Creativity: May you see things in new ways and find different ways to solve problems.

Peacefulness: May you give up the love of power for the power of love.

Joy: May your spirit shine like the sun, bringing light and warmth to you and all those around you.

Love: May your heart be open to all of life's creatures and creation.

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