I did not grow up celebrating Advent, per se. Or maybe it was mentioned, but I don't remember. It probably sounded too Catholic, lol. And there's a lot I don't remember about my childhood anyway, so maybe it was taught and I've forgotten. Come to think of it, we did have this beautiful felt calendar (I think my mother made?) that we flipped a number on every day in December. ANYWAY...I also know I've been in a church for the last 12 or more years that most likely did teach about celebrating Advent but I don't really remember it from there either. Before tonight, I'm sure I've heard about it and probably sung about it and been taught about it plenty of times but didn't get it.
Tonight I got it. We went to an Advent Hymn Sing. We sang many exquisite, old, familiar hymns and several exquisite new ones I'm going to learn. And Scriptures were read. And Psalms sung too. Then tonight when I was putting the kids down and saying prayers, I prayed that we would anticipate Jesus' return as much as we anticipate celebrating his birth. And it clicked in my mind at the same time the words were coming out of my mouth. Yes, Advent helps us richly cherish "the reason for the season" but it also points us to Christ's final return. So now I think we should celebrate Advent all year long. Am I so new to this Advent thing that there is already a name for anticipating his ultimate return that I've not clued into yet?