Raise your hand if you love the holiday season, but also slightly squirm at the idea of an overfilled calendar and an extra-long to-do list? (*insert deep inhale + exhale here*)
I see you, sister.
December usually starts with hope and optimistic anticipation. However, somewhere by mid-December I usually find myself running on my last fumes provided by adrenaline and caffeine. You too? With every day that passes by in December, I start feeling the weight of all the things “I still have to do” get heavier on my shoulders, and that “optimistic anticipation” I once felt starts fading away quicker than I can say “Christmas Shopping”. As I have conversations with my mama friends, I realize that I’m not alone in this.
A few years ago, something lit up inside of me: a desire to slow down and align myself with what truly matters for me and my household in the season. This is when I started to learn about Advent.
Over the last few years, I’ve slowly incorporated the peaceful and powerful practice of observing the Advent Season and I’ve realized one thing: it calms my heart and aligns me with the heart of the Season in a way that nothing else in December does. So much so that here I am writing about it to try and help some of my fellow mommas.
What is the Advent Season?
The word “advent” means “coming” and the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.
In the Advent season, we celebrate the original coming of Christ on the very first Christmas night (which is considered to be the first Advent) and we simultaneously anticipate the second coming of Christ (the Second Advent). We celebrate the salvation, hope, and grace that we already have in Christ while at the same time we anticipate the return of Jesus in His second coming. Advent is a way to press pause and meditate on the relief this brings to our hearts each day.
Here are a few practices that have helped me press the pause button and savor the Advent season.
A Scripture-based Advent Study is a practical way to press pause daily and align ourselves with the true meaning of Christmas. Studies usually consist of an overall theme to focus on all season, a daily devotional along with some scripture. Some studies even include some fun Christmas-themed recipes and crafts!
The Advent Wreath
Have you ever heard of Advent Wreath? I hadn’t until last year and it became my favorite visual to observe the Advent season. You will usually find 4-5 candles on an Advent Wreath. Each candle has a meaning. The candles symbolize hope, love, joy, and peace and the 5th candle symbolizes the light of Christ. Each Sunday, one candle is lit. Each time you see the candle, it serves as a beautiful reminder to focus on the meaning of that Sunday’s candle.
Kids Advent Calendar
A scripture-based kids advent calendar makes for a great way to get your kids in on the meaningful fun! We usually keep ours on the dining table and it’s the topic of conversation each night. My 5-year-old daughter loves the beautiful illustrations and is so excited that she’s usually the one to remind us about it every night!
Not sure where to start? Here are some of our favorite Advent Season Studies!
Jesse Tree Treasures
Jesse Tree Ornaments are used to tell the story of salvation from the creation of the world to Jesus’ birth. 28 beautiful wooden ornaments showcasing an image of our original artwork. Hang one ornament each day to bring the true meaning and anticipation back to the season of Advent. Share the faith with someone you love with Jesse Tree Treasures!
Christmas will be filled with great joy!
Advent Blocks from GoodKind
Advent Blocks is a Christmas practice that helps families anticipate Jesus, not just presents during the month of December. Each day you’ll read a story, turn a block, and celebrate that at Christmas, God has come to earth—to stay!
2022 Advent Bundle from The Daily Grace Company
This is a bundle of our top 2022 Advent Resources! This bundle includes both our men’s and women’s version of our Hope Has Come 2022 Advent Study! It also includes our very popular Advent Candle cards, Jesus has Come family study, Advent Prayer Journal and a fan favorite, Advent Tree Ornaments!
Heaven & Nature Sing by Hannah Anderson
Heaven and Nature Sing invites you into a fresh reading of the Christmas story—one where earthy, overlooked things like snowflakes, trees, serpents, bodies, and swaddling bands reveal the glory of the Promised Son. Journeying from the first pages of Scripture to the last, you’ll experience the goodness of our Creator King and learn how the whole earth sings his praise. This Advent season, join Hannah as she guides you through 25 meditations on the natural elements of the Christmas story. Accompanied by Nathan Anderson’s distinctive artwork, the entries gradually move you from hope to faith to joy to peace. Find your soul renewed and your heart restored, and discover once again why heaven and nature sing.
Connected Christmas, A No-Stress Family Advent Experience by Kaleidoscope
It’s not quite a journal and not quite a devotional – Connected Christmas is a refreshing way to celebrate Advent. It’s for families who are weary and worn out from things they must do and simply want to enjoy Jesus and each other this year with no pressure to perform. Celebrate with Connected Christmas and enjoy a new kind of Advent experience all while creating a family heirloom.
Come to the Manger Christmas Guide by Brighter Day Press
This 4-week Christmas guide from Brighter Day Press is designed for ages 3 to 7, but can certainly include older and younger siblings as well. The plans include lessons for 4 days each week, leaving Friday as a catch-up day or to fill with your own family’s Christmas traditions. You can expect to spend 30 minutes to an hour working through them each day.
Each day, you’ll find a Bible reading with a short commentary and discussion questions, a suggested picture book to read, and engaging activities. It’s never too early to introduce your children to Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas!
The God Who Is With Us by Ronnie Martin
In his new book, “The God Who Is With Us: 25-Day Devotional for Advent,” Pastor Ronnie Martin takes readers through a twenty-five day Advent journey. Daily reflections on gospel truths drawn from Scripture will stir the imagination of the season while also reminding readers that God never abandons his people, but is present with them even in their most difficult seasons. Complete with beautiful, unique, thought-provoking illustrations and space for daily journaling and reflection, The God Who Is with Us provides readers with a meaningful keepsake to prepare them for the challenges of the New Year in light of the beauty of Advent.
Emmanuel by Ruth Chou Simons // Harvest House Publishers
From the bestselling author and artist behind GraceLaced and Beholding and Becoming comes this gorgeously illustrated Advent exploration of what it means to intimately experience God’s presence in our daily lives. Ruth Chou Simons welcomes you and your family to partake in a season of surrender as you discover the true miracle behind Christmas: that while we journey to grow in our relationships with Jesus, He has already come so He can be with us forever.
Christmas Day is not the end of our celebrations, but the beginning! Emmanuel is an invitation to rejoice in the everlasting fellowship and hope God extended to us on the day of His Son’s birth, guiding us to realize that having God with us all year long is Christmas’s most incredible gift.
Little Hearts, Prepare Him Room by Holly Mackle
Little Hearts, Prepare Him Room is a family Advent devotional designed to grow alongside the hearts of your little ones. Allowing you to go deeper as children grow older, the readings of the well-known texts call children and parents alike to taste the grace of Christmas. With scriptures primarily from the gospels of Luke and Matthew and themes from the Westminster Confession of Faith, both content and reflection questions intend to address the heart of the matter: what God says about us in His Word and how His truth shapes our lives.
God With Us: Family Advent Celebration Jesse Tree Gift Set by Red Dot Threads
Have you ever done a Jesse Tree with your kids? Check out this great resource to help you!
“God With Us” is designed to make the celebration of Advent simple, memorable, and gospel-focused for the entire family. This brightly colored family devotional includes readings corresponding with 25 symbols from the Old and New Testaments, short prayers, and extension activities which provide a flexible and engaging approach to celebrating Advent for children ages 4-14 and the adults who love them. This gift set also includes 25 wooden ornaments with symbols that represent each day’s reading and a muslin storage bag.
Enter to Win an Advent Resource
At Miami Mom Collective we want to equip you with the tools and encouragement you need to savor this special season. Visit the Instagram and Websites of the businesses above to grab your advent resources and check out our Instagram to enter to win one of these awesome Advent resources.