Rejoicing in This Season

Even though I’m a firm believer in waiting until after Thanksgiving to begin celebrating Christmas, I can’t help but start thinking about Advent and how we’ll introduce it to our kids. I think this is the year we can begin establishing traditions that Bea will understand.

Our Thankful Tree
Our Thankful Tree

We began the month with a Thankful Tree – just a bulletin board cutout and leaves (because I am so uncrafty!) that we add to each night at dinner. I went into this with low expectations, thinking we may have to help out with prompts. But, Bea has taken the Thankful Tree seriously. Every guest at our table is given a leaf and Bea has no end of ideas for her leaves. (And Elle’s – my favorites are “paintings by Vincent van Gogh” and her carseat. We have a cultured and safe baby.)

For Advent, I’m thinking we’ll keep it simple. We’ll light the Advent candles each Sunday with a simple verse. I bought Unwrapping the Greatest Gift last year, and while the readings are probably too long, we can color the ornaments and talk about the themes.

As the days get shorter and shorter and as we come off of a rough couple weeks of upended schedule, I’m already feeling the tired winter feelings. I think of Placide Cappeau’s lyrics in O Night Divine:

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

As we settle into this season of celebration in the midst of seasonal weariness, I know I need to be intentional about stopping and recognizing the restoration happening right now. That we are celebrating a season of family, of generosity, of the birth of Christ, but also of the thrill of a new, glorious morn.

That, as the news and world events can make me weary, we are in fact celebrating the coming restoration of broken systems in a broken world.

How do you stop and recognize something deeper in this season that can be crazy?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.

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9 thoughts on “Rejoicing in This Season

  1. Remembering Advent is more important than ever in a world that is weary and hurting.
    We use advent candles as well. We use the candles for daily devotionals during Advent – lighting the additional candle each week until we can light the Christ candle when Christmas arrives. It is wonderful to see the brightness of the candlelight grow each week as we add candles. As the brightness grows, so does Hope.
    -Sarah (stopping by from Five Minute Friday)

  2. “As we settle into this season of celebration in the midst of seasonal weariness, I know I need to be intentional about stopping and recognizing the restoration happening right now. That we are celebrating a season of family, of generosity, of the birth of Christ, but also of the thrill of a new, glorious morn.”

    I love this part you remind us of. We become so concerned with the weeks and days ahead and forget to focus on the moment by moment reminders of the Christ who saves, forgives, provides peace and hope.

    Thank you for sharing….from your FMF partner in writing

    1. I can get caught up in this season – and not even negatively, but in a festive way – that I forget to breathe and to remember the depth of Christ’s coming. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. I love that we’ve had several similar flows with the prompts. 🙂 I’m excited to experience Advent through Bea’s eyes this year. Kids always make me look at my faith and traditions differently. Happy Friday to you, Tara.

  3. One thing I wish I’d been intentional with was celebrating Advent with our boys. Good for you for making it a priority, Annie. 🙂 Unwrapping The Greatest Gift looks soooo good.

    We try to not focus on the gift-getting so much as the gift giving. We receive catalogs from ministries we give to, and over the past couple of years, we have each picked a gift and sent the money for it (this year, one of our boys wants to send baby chicks). It’s so fun to see them get excited about giving practical gifts to those who have nothing compared to us.

    1. I cannot wait to do something like that with Bea! How old were the boys when you started? She is just now talking about our Compassion kids, so I’m wondering if we can incorporate giving livestock, etc this year as well. We try to keep Santa and presents low-key and focus on the giving – more for our own practice now …

  4. I know the holidays bring a lot of stress and craziness to our lives. But this year in particular I am looking forward to focusing on Christ and His birth and to just sit and take in the Advent. THAT is where I will find my rest.

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