Let’s make Advent special

WordItOut-word-cloud-520155-3I’ve always loved Christmas. As a child I loved the sense of a special day, like a super Sunday, when all of my family was at home. We were all together all day. The day followed a familiar pattern; unwrapping stockings in my parents bed, with them looking slightly bleary eyed and us full of beans; roast dinner with all the trimmings; and an afternoon by the fire, with presents, games, and Christmas movies.

Christmas Day is still a very special day to me. Now with my own family, where we have kept some of the old traditions and added some of our own. What has changed though is an appreciation of Jesus. I became a Christian 12 years ago, and this changed Christmas for me completely. I want to feel most excited about the gift of Jesus, most filled up by God’s love for me, and most drawn into the mystery and story of Christ.

But I still live in the midst of a world that has more of a secular approach to Christmas. I still have long lists of cards to send, presents to buy, schedules to plan, and meals to prepare. This can easily fill my diary and mind in the whole of December. But it is in December that I really want to slow down, and contemplate the true Christmas story.

This thirst for a holy December, a holy Advent, that reaches a height on December 25th has led me to prepare for Christmas a little early.  Last year for the first time I was ready for Christmas on November 30th.  During December I was able to give all my attention and energies to Advent.  It was very special; I was able to enter into a time of waiting, anticipating, and contemplating.  I could anticipate and enjoy carol services, school nativities, and Christmas Fairs without always feeling that I was “behind” on Christmas.

This year I plan to do the same, and I’m inviting you to join me!  If you would like to make Advent special this year; if you’d like to greet December 1 knowing that you have time to embrace all that the month holds for you; then please join me. You can sign up to follow my Advent preparation by email so that you don’t miss any posts.

I will be posting a couple of times each week between now and the end of November about what I’m doing to prepare.  It will just be a few small jobs each week, nothing too time consuming. The idea is a steady preparation that gets us to Advent feeling calm, organised and expectant.

I would love to know if you’re along for the ride.  Do leave a comment; and share with me what you find hardest about preparing for Christmas; and what you are hoping for this Advent.

About expectantlylistening

Writing about my contemplative journey to come closer to Jesus. I hope to inspire and equip others on their journey.
This entry was posted in Advent, Contemplative life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Let’s make Advent special

  1. kelrohlf says:

    Victoria- I love Christmas and ADVENT! Some of my first regular blog posts were prompted by an Advent practice of contemplation…you find those posts at my old blog in the December archives…www.nourishsoul.blogspot.com

    Also since I know you enjoy the art journaling and collage I have been sharing…I recently found out about a FREE ADVENTure through some other Christian art journalers… they are making an art journal for Advent during the month of November…http://advent2014.blogspot.co.uk/

    I look forward to following your Preparation posts! We are celebrating Christmas in a very different way this year, so your posts will help me prepare for December…my husband and I are going to live on our boat for a couple months this winter in the warmer Southern part of the US…I’m sure it will be part of my ADVENT adventures that I will blog about 🙂

  2. Hello Kel, it’s great to connect with a fellow Advent enthusiast! Thank you so much for sharing those links – I’ll definitely be checking them out this afternoon. I’ve started a post for next week with some Advent ideas so will be able to share these art related links again there.
    I’ll look forward to reading about your boating adventures – that sounds so fun (and nice and warm!).

  3. Deb Wolf says:

    What a wonderful suggestion. I’m making it my goal this year. Thank you for this inspiration. I’d love to have you share it over at Blessing Counters Linkup.

  4. Hi Deb, it’s great to have you here, I hope you enjoy the series, and thank you so much for the invitation to share over at your blog too. Heading over there now!

  5. I love that you prepare ahead of time so you can enjoy the Advent season. Sometimes I succeed in that; sometimes I don’t. But I appreciate your encouragement here to let this year be one of the times that I do!

  6. Hi Lisa, for me too – part the reason for the posts will be to keep me on track! So glad you’re joining us, and I’m hoping to keep it light touch and easy to keep up!

  7. Thank you for your kind comment over at my blog! I really appreciate it. I plan on being done with my Christmas stuff by the end of November. I love that idea! Random question? Have you looked at this? Is it neat? http://www.amazon.com/dp/1414397542/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=KRQH983C68WT&coliid=I9NBHY2WWWRB1

    • Hi! Yes, I really enjoyed The Greatest Gift last Advent and was really excited to see this children’s version coming out. I’ve got it on preorder at Amazon already! I’m working on a post for next week pointing to lots of Advent resources for all the family, and this is on there! Thanks for sharing, and joining the pre-Advent journey.

  8. What a fantastic idea, Victoria! You’ve inspired me! I would love to spend more time in December focusing on Jesus. Love your ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hi Mel, thanks for visiting, and great to have you joining in. I imagine your December is every bit as busy as ours!!

  10. betsydecruz says:

    Hi Victoria! I saw you’d visited my blog, and I’m so happy I stopped by here today. This is a great idea. I love advent. Lighting a wreath and reading scripture with my kids every evening is my favorite part of advent. But sometimes I feel so behind and stressed with getting out my nativity sets, finding time to decorate the tree. I’ll be following along to see which of your suggestions I can implement!

  11. Hi Betsy, it’s lovely to have you following along, and to have found your blog too. Lighting the wreath and reading the scriptures sounds like a wonderful incentive to get ready.

    I was reading over at carrotsformichaelmass.com that they don’t get any Christmas things out until Christmas Eve (or thereabouts) and so Advent is all about the waiting. It would be a bit of a switch-around for us though as I usually decorate quite early in December, but I like the idea of waiting with a reason and then Christmas Day being extra special.

  12. What a great idea! Definitely inspiring and I will be back to join you in celebrating the birth of Christ. Thanks for sharing on the #SHINEbloghop this week!

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