We know that Christmas is about giving, and about the greatest gift ever given. But we also know that it’s the GETTING that often takes center stage. How do we overcome that, especially with our children? Encouraging our children to give of their time or resources is a good start. Let it be said that we should have giving hearts all year long. During the holidays, people can feel particularly lonely, discontented and sad. During the winter, needs can be felt more severely. Throughout this holiday season, you can find many opportunities to give if you look around a little.
Yes, you can BAKE your way into the holiday spirit! (Some of you are paying attention now – say what? Food? What?) Think about it. Baking something together, with family, with friends, with your children – promotes spending time together. Baking something to give away – um, hello, GIVING? You can even decorate with food. Oh yes. Christmas Cookies At least once a season, the kids and I will make Christmas cookies together. We have an assortment of cookie cutters that we use – an angel, a wreath, a bell, a star, a Christmas tree and a candy cane. You
Decorations create the mood in a home, and can be used symbolically to enhance our Advent celebrations. There is nothing inherently evil about snowmen or reindeer, don’t get me wrong. Personally, I prefer not to use ornaments that make people think of secular Christmas traditions instead of a Savior who was born to die for our sins. I’d like to challenge you to rethink your decorations as you pull them out this year. What do they bring to the table? How do they detract from the overall atmosphere? Consider each piece, why you’re bringing it out, and what it represents.
We have many traditions that we repeat each year to make our Advent season meaningful and keep the holidays focused on Jesus Christ. Some of our activities change from year to year, but these are the traditions that we’ve begun and I hope and pray that these traditions are carried on through the generations. Our Advent Calendar A day or two before Advent begins, the kids and I will sit down and make an Advent calendar. Sure, we could buy one, but there’s a lot less fun in that – don’t you think? Each year the calendar contains a piece
Today is the first day of Advent! If you don’t know what Advent is, it’s basically a Catholic tradition which celebrates the coming of Christ as a child and his promised Second Coming – and it runs from roughly after Thanksgiving until the beginning of January. Now, I’m not Catholic. But after being exposed to the tradition of Advent a few years ago, I quickly realized that this is a great opportunity to keep Christmas focused on Christ – and not only that, but have fun celebrating it all month long. Since Christmas is my favorite holiday.. I’M ALL OVER
First, start here: Where is He? This post really sums up why we do Advent and what we try to accomplish by it. Advent is not a means to more stuff, more projects, and more busyness on the calendar. It does bring some of that. But the end goal is more purpose, more focus on why we’re doing what we’re doing, more opportunity to read and discuss and study and pray. What is Advent? Advent is a season of preparation before Christmas, beginning four Sundays before Christmas (usually the Sunday after Thanksgiving.) “Advent” means “coming” and we spend this season reflecting