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 3 Mom-owned small businesses that offer beautiful Advent Season Studies.
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.
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. The plans include a Bible reading for each day, discussion questions, picture book recommendations, and engaging activities including hands-on crafts and simple recipes.
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.
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.