I love Christmas. Love! Love! Love! I don’t think I expressed myself enough…. I’M IN LOVE WITH CHRISTMAS AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT! (Yes, I just did a Christmas movie quote there). My love for Christmas has been following me my whole life. Just something warm, lovely, nostalgic, peaceful, joyful, fun, and exciting about this time of year. Disclaimer: I start Christmas music on November 1 and I decorate after my firstborns birthday party on November 9. I am one of those people.
My husband and I knew even before we had our first child that Santa wasn’t going to be coming down our chimney. We both grew up in Santa homes, but decided not to incorporate him into our own traditions. We wanted Christmas to be Christ centered. Sure we give gifts, watch Christmas movies, and drink hot cocoa. We ride the Polar Express, admire Christmas lights, and enjoy some holiday silliness. But the four weeks leading up to Christmas day, we try very hard to have a family devotional each night learning about our King, worshipping our Savior, and celebrating the greatest gift ever given. We refer to this family tradition as Advent. Here are a few reasons why we chose this tradition:
- When reflecting upon childhood, I want my adult children to say, “Dad and Mom truly showed us how to live a life that focused on Jesus”. Ladies, I am so far from perfect with anything and everything. Please don’t have a legalistic moment here. My true hearts desire is for my children to know I adored Jesus and have that same passion for serving Him in their own lives.
- It is a moment to slow down. We have to make it a priority to have a devotional, light the candles, pray, read a book. It is work! But the reward is oh so beautiful!
- Jesus is the reason for the season. Yep, I said it. I brought out the old cliche. Honestly though, in the midst of all the other holiday silliness and piles of Christmas presents, I have to show my children that Jesus matters most. That’s my job as a parent.
- God still performs miracles everyday! But the greatest miracle of all….it’s something to celebrate!
- I am sucker for tradition. S-U-C-K-E-R. As I go back to numbers 1-3 which traditions do I want my kids to remember most?
We will begin our Advent season on Sunday, December 3, 2017. I invite you to join us where ever you are! Our tradition includes a small family devotional, a children led prayer time, lighting a candle on the Advent wreath, and reading a small book. My children range in ages from 8 to 1. So everything is appropriate for them. Years ago I was introduced to a women’s Advent study that includes children activities. I decided to pull it out again and reuse it this year. It’s amazing! Here is the link https://womenlivingwell.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Advent-Childrens-Resources.pdf. This is from Good Morning Girls Living Well. Courtney does an amazing job at creating women’s devotionals.
**Here are a few links for helpful research about Advent.
Some of the books we read:
- The Candymaker’s Gift by Helen and David Haidle
- The Christmas Gift by Andy Griffith
- The Christmas Story (A Little Golden Book)
- The Animals of Christmas Eve (A Little Golden Book)
- The Beginners Bible, The Very First Christmas
- Little Tree Found by Troy Schmidt
- The Wonderful Gifts of Winter by Dandi Daley Mackall
- I also bought “The Donkey in the Living Room” on clearance last year. It is a hoot!