Every Christmas, I have these Big Ideas of how to have an intentional Christmas season. I make lists of ways we’ll slow down and enjoy the holidays, but as my economics professor in college was fond of saying, “good intentions are never enough.” I can plan to do all the Christmas things, but if (when) I don’t follow through with the plan, the season passes by in a blur and I’m left wondering what in the world happened to my peaceful, meaningful Christmas season.
This year, I feel a whispering in my spirit to stop. Take a break. Stop the crazy homeschooling routine. (We’ll be doing a super simplified school routine focused on the season. UPDATE: you can read more about that here.) Stop looking for special holiday events and activities. Enjoy the season for what it is: a time to focus on God’s love and his gift of Love to us. Enjoy moments of peace and simplicity at home. Enjoy opportunities to teach the kids kindness and gentleness and compassion. BREATHE.
Preparing for Advent at the Cozy House
This December, we’ll be focusing on Advent. When I was growing up, Advent was the central focus of Christmas. As an adult, it’s been a missing piece of our holidays for too long. The church we’ve attended for the past many years doesn’t focus on Advent much, and I miss it.
Since our kids are young, our main focus has been on survival, and I haven’t had the energy for much more than having a simple advent calendar hanging on the wall of the dining room.
But this year…this year I feel a stirring in my spirit to prepare my heart and mind and home for the coming of Christ. (This article summarizes Advent fully and beautifully, if you’re interested in reading more.)
How we’re Advent-ing
I want to be immersed in Him this holiday season. We’ll do the traditional lighting of the advent candles every Sunday. I love simple decor, and plan to do something similar to this simple advent candle set-up. We’ll use this simple guide for our readings on Sundays leading up to Christmas.
I’ve chosen two books to guide our journey through the Christmas season this year. For the kids, we’ll use Ann Voskamp’s “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.” We’ll read a chapter a day at our morning “coffee and books” read aloud time. I made very simple ornaments to go along with each chapter of the book which we will hang on a Jesse Tree. (Remember the little twig trees I made for a recent craft show? We’re using one of those for our Jesse Tree.)
For myself, I’ve chosen to read this book, which I’m very excited about.
My soul is ready. I need this. Come, Lord Jesus.
Do you celebrate Advent? What does it look like at your house?