My family did not observe Advent when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. I stumbled upon this amazing celebration as a young parent attending the church we chose to join as a young family. I can't say I even really "got it" in those days, either. I think I just enjoyed the ritual aspect of retelling and thus experiencing the story of Jesus coming to this earth as an infant, lighting a candle at church and then at home in our own mini-recreation of the event, and reading aloud from the Advent devotional booklet the church gave out to families. It was beautiful. Yet it was in this manner that I learned to wait.
Waiting is, after all, what Advent is all about. We wait for, remember, and affirm that there was a miraculous baby born in Bethlehem in real historical time, and that baby was God himself.