Intro to Advent

It’s plain to see if you spend more than 1.75 seconds with me or reading my blog that I am NOT super-mom material. I cannot spend too much time reading all of the bazillions of super-mom blogs out there, because rather than inspire me, they make me consider the fact that I should put my kids up for adoption so that they have some chance of having a mom who does nature walks or educational crafts that I can’t even describe in some funny way because I don’t know what it would even be! (I’m pretty sure that made absolutely no sense to any of you.) So, if I ever do anything remotely super-momish, you can rest assured that it will go on the blog. That way, when my kids are struggling to remember all those wonderful things I did for them during their childhood, I will have an exhibit all ready to go. How very handy.

Each year we celebrate Advent in a slightly different way, not so much because I’m getting better at it or tweaking it, but because I’m too lazy to write down what we do to refer back to the next year. To make it sound better, I tell myself we’re just following the Spirit and letting it be laid back. When I read all those cutesy things out there that awesome families do, I get stressed and overwhelmed. That kind of defeats the point, so I let myself off the hook and do something easy. You might call it setting my standards low. I call it enjoying family time rather than making myself want to pluck my eyelashes out. (Because that just sounds better to me.)

I might be documenting some of what we do here so that a) I can remember it for next year and b) you can feel A-okay about what you’re doing at your house, because it’s surely more creative and fun than our plan. You’re welcome for the confidence booster.

The first thing we did was something new this year. It’s so simple and obvious, but it took a whack in the head by the Spirit for me to think of it. I realized that if we were decorating purely to celebrate the birth of Christ, all the things we put out should point back to Jesus. So, as we decorated, we had a good discussion about why we use what we use and what it tells us about the Lord. I thought I might have to prompt the kids a little, but wouldn’t you know…they’re brilliant! They came up with something for everything I asked them about. They knew that the evergreen tree pointed to the everlasting life we have in Christ. The red holly berries remind us of Christ’s blood spilled for us. The lights…duh – the Light of the World! Chris even pointed out that just as Christmas lights shines from our house as people drive by, Jesus’ light should shine forth from us. Ya’ll, I didn’t claim this was rocket science, but it was a simple conversation starter.

I do have a confession, though. I couldn’t bring myself to part with the brown metal reindeer I have sitting on my piano. Chris assured me that they are part of God’s creation, and we did place them by the nativity scene, so they represent all the animals at the stable. Because we all know there is a plethora of antlered deer in Israel. It’s a commonly known fact. Don’t judge.

We’ve also discussed how we can use questions the kids are asked about Santa (we don’t “do Santa” - you can see here for the explanation) to tell others what we are really celebrating at Christmas. Again, the kids came up with great answers all on their own. Maddie had a humdinger of one, to which I replied, “That’s great, Maddie! Would you actually say that to someone?” She quickly answered, “No.” So, we just took that moment to pray for a little more boldness in our lives. :)

We got off to a great Advent start last week, and now we’ve encountered a devastating combination of busy, lazy, and uncreative. The wind has gone out of our Advent sails, and it’s only December 4. But that means there is still plenty of time to do lots more wonderful things, right? Except not any night this week because we’re too busy. And Saturday’s out because we’re booked from 9am to 9pm. Sunday would be good except the kids will be at church all day performing in the church’s Christmas choir program.

Okay, I give up. The wonderful thing is that there are always great opportunities for conversations as we go. And we will carve out some time this week to be still and know that God has done something amazingly special for us. Okay, three people in our house are never actually still, but you know what I mean.

Before I go do all the things still left on my crazy long list, I’ll add one more item of Christmas fun. It’s our very own little Elf on a Shelf Box.


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