I wish it would just get here already.
I’m so sick of Christmas, and it’s not even here yet.
I can’t wait for Christmas to be over.
Sadly, I have heard those words while out and about recently. Even when leaving Sunday services. It hurts to see what Christmas has become to so many. Though I have little control over marketing and advertising and the secular hubbub of the season, I can make certain that in my home… our hearts are well-prepared for this joyous holiday.
The season of Advent is the season of waiting and anticipation. It’s more than a countdown calendar on the wall. We celebrate this time of preparation not as an impractical boycott of all things Christmas until December 24, but as a way to learn about and savor the signs and scents and wonders of the season.
We are using the ADVENTures family devotional by Terry and Rich Steinke as a guide, but you don’t have to own a manual to enjoy a meaningful Advent season. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Make your own advent wreath to use as a centerpiece.
- As you receive Christmas cards, put them in a basket. Pick one each night after supper and say a prayer for that family.
- Make paper snowflakes and talk about how God makes our lives white as snow.
- Make candy cane cookies and talk about how Jesus is like a shepherd.
- Your kids will love this one… celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6. Have your kids line up their shoes the night before so you can fill them with treats to discover the next morning.
- Watch Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer together and talk about how God gifts each of us with special talents to use to help others.
- What gifts do you have? What gifts can you give? Try to shift the gimme gimme focus to a more giving spirit by baking bread or a holiday treat to share with neighbors, or just spend time visiting someone who doesn’t get out much.
The season of Advent is not meant to be “one more thing to do” in this busy time of year. Instead, allow a few moments each day to truly experience the anticipation of Christmas. Wait in wonder with your family. Prepare your hearts for Christmas joy. It works for me!
This just in: quite contrary to the negative statements I’ve overheard lately, following is part of a conversation my three year old Christmas-ready boy had with his dental nurse this afternoon.
Nurse: “Are you excited for Christmas?”
My Boy: “Yep.”
Nurse: “Santa is coming, isn’t he?”
My Boy: “Yep. And so is Jesus.”
I love my boy!
If you are celebrating advent, I’d love to learn from you. Please share what you are doing!
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