Thursday, December 3, 2009


Sometimes it seems like Advent gets the short end of the stick when it comes to church seasons.  There are great Advent hymns that sing about the process of waiting and hoping for Christ, but we want Christmas songs!  We want our Silent Nights and our Hark the Herald Angels.  And who can blame us really?  These songs are filled with joy and love and faith for us.  Christmas is a time to slow down and truly celebrate with those around us that God loved us so much to send his son.

The problem of course is that to slow down for Christmas means that Advent speeds up to a near frantic pace.  There is shopping, cooking and cleaning to do, not to mention all the holiday parties, concerts and family activities to do.  It is no wonder that by the time we reach the Christmas season we are just tired.

It may be that there is no avoiding the hustle and bustle, but try to find a family activity that can center you during the season and remind you about the wonderful thing that we wait for in Advent - the birth of Jesus Christ.

Here are some ways to remember Advent as a family:

  • Consider investing in a family advent wreath and light it each night at dinner.  One candle is lit for each week of Advent.  So by Advent 4 all candles are lit.

  • Use an advent calendar to mark down the days until Christmas.  Everyday a box can be opened or an ornament can be hung in celebration of being one day closer to Jesus' birth.

  • If you don't have an advent calendar one can be made easily by making a paper chain and ripping off one link each day.
  • When shopping consider getting a gift for Toys for Tots or donating to a local food shelf like VEAP to remind yourself that giving is a greater joy than recieving.

  • Read the a portion of the Christmas story each day or use or Taking Faith Home inserts for daily Advent readings.

  • Place a new piece of a Nativity out each day counting down for Christmas.  Remember to save the baby Jesus for last!  If you don't have many pieces for your nativity consider having your children make sheep or other animals to have one to add each day.
What Advent Traditions help you slow down as a family before Christmas?

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