Can I call this an advent tradition if it’s the first year our family has done it? I’m going to anyway, we loved doing this as a family so much that we will definitely be doing this again next year. Ken and I have always wanted to emphasize the Christ in Christmas more than Santa and all the extras that get thrown in. We even considered not doing Santa with the girls when they were first born.
There are so many opinions and thoughts on this, but in the end we decided that stockings would be from Santa and that it would be something that we pretended for a few years. We felt better knowing that they would always see that their big presents came from us. Even though they know the truth, we still like to set out cookies and pretend that he will visit us.
Still, I wanted to emphasize Christ more. We always include the Christmas story throughout the season. At some point, Ken will take our copy of ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and read it again to the girls. We have heard it many times, but we still laugh and even get a little teary eyed at the touching ending. I remember my dad reading it to my brothers and me as kids.
Our family looks forward to the candlelight service at church. There is something magical for a child who is suddenly allowed to hold a lit candle for a few short moments. My kids love the songs and the candles and the special feeling of the service, sometimes only a few hours after the Sunday morning service.
Our house is filled with Christmas songs. We go out of our way to find the new songs written by current Christian artists and intersperse them with the classics. We are far more familiar with Lauren Daigle’s “Noel” than with “Frosty the Snowman.”
Of course my kids have seen all the holiday cartoons and know them well, but they are side notes. Sprinkles on the top of the real Christmas cookie that is God’s greatest gift to humanity. I hope you don’t feel like I am proclaiming that my family is perfect in our priorities. We are far from it. I, like any mom wish I could give my girls every present they wish for. I want to see their faces light up on Christmas morning when they see that they have received ‘that’ one thing.
Holiday shopping distracts from even grocery store trips as I pass coffee mug gift sets and crock pot boxes with a bow already fixed to their sides. Instapot sales float tantalizingly across my Facebook feed, and the men’s clothing section reminds me that Ken’s winter coat predates at least one of our children.
But my heart does prompt me for more in another way also. I want more of Christ in this season and in my life. Also, I want my mind to see past the momentary delights of that ‘perfect’ Christmas morning and remember his love for me. I want his love for me to prompt me to love others more.
A New Tradition
When I pondered how to make this a reality this year, I came up with this simple advent celebration. I wanted it to be so easy to do, that I would have no excuse not to do it again and again. So, we invited some dear friends to our home, queued up a couple of worship songs, and took turns reading scripture aloud. We read prophecies of the coming Messiah and the story of his birth. In turn we lit the candles reminding us of the Hope, Love, Peace, and Life of his coming.
It truly was simple and meaningful, so short that it took less time than watching a sitcom. Yet it was so worth the effort. If you (like me) don’t want a new tradition that adds more stress and busyness to your schedule, I’d love to share this with you. My gift to you- Merry Christmas! If you want to hear more about it, check out my first post, or subscribe below to receive our simple Advent Celebration.
I have been posting about this over on Instagram, if you want to see more.