STARTING NEW TRADITIONS
This year being our first Christmas as a married couple, E and I wanted to start making traditions for our new family. One was to buy a new ornament symbolizing something special from the year — this year we bought a picture frame ornament from Pottery Barn so we could insert our wedding photo inside. The other tradition was to create an advent calendar and celebrate the advent season, which neither of us had done growing up. I'm stoked to try it, and that's what I wanted to talk about with you all today.
There's something special about this time of the year. :) Trees are ornate with twinkly lights, nostalgic jingles play in every store, and pants begin feeling tighter after the 8th peppermint bark... Or maybe that's just me.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year; however, this season can also rob us from the joy and merryness the holidays should bring. Society adds pressure and anxiety with shopping, indulging, hosting, traveling, etc. It's easy to fall into the charade. For me, one walk through Target and suddenly I have a cart full of glittery wrapping paper, gold trinkets, and I'm sucked in. For us, an advent calendar will help E and I to be deliberate with being mindful of each day — and ultimately prepare our hearts for Christmas. I want to remember that this time of the year is not simply snagging the best Black Friday deal, hosting a Pinterest holiday gathering, or receiving all of the gifts on our wish list no matter what every magazine will tell you.
It's cherishing quality time with friends + families, stepping away from work, reflecting and reevaluating the last whirlwind of a year, savoring every sip of apple cider and egg nog, helping a hand toward the less fortunate, spreading love and cheer in the form of gifts or acts of kindness to those around you, and watching The Holiday (duh!), and most importantly looking forward to good news: the humble and perfect and beautiful birth of Jesus Christ.
Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2: 19-20
WHAT IS AN ADVENT CALENDAR?
If you're not familiar, an advent calendar is a special way to countdown and anticipate Christmas! It is a calendar with multiple flaps/containers/pockets, one which is opened every day of the season, usually filled with candies or gifts and a passage to be read. Often families will put toys for their children to open as a surprise in addition to a bible story related to the birth. For now since it's a bit last minute, E and I just decided to create our own calendar (although you can definitely buy one) and follow an advent devotional. If you're looking for a devotional, John Piper has one, you can buy one from Naptime Diaries, or follow If: Equip. We'll probably do that one since you know I'm a big If fan. :)
In addition, here are four (super cute and easy!) DIY advent calendars for you to create for your own home with links on how to make them!
4 (SUPER CUTE AND EASY!) DIY ADVENT CALENDARS TO TRY THIS SEASON:
How does your family celebrate THIS TIME OF THE YEAR? Do you have an advent calendar? Let me know if you try one of the devotionals.
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