Does anyone struggle with …

…loving Christmas sooo much … but for the wrong reasons. The busyness of parties, decorating, finding the perfect gift, giving and receiving family cards, parades, pageants, programs … do i need to continue.

Confession Time. My TV viewing triples this month, because I LOVE watching the cheesy hallmark Christmas movies with no lights on except my many indoor Christmas lights twinkling everywhere. I look forward to it all year .. and I’m sure George does not. 🙂

Although none of this is wrong, there is a reason for moderation. All these things can easily overshadow Christ in Christmas. EVERY year I have to constantly remind myself of what this time of year is really about.

Up until a few years ago, when I woke up on December 26th, I was so depressed. Why?… because “it” was all over… and “it” never lived up to the expectations I had in my head. Wow, how backwards is this thinking?!?! December 26th is not the end, but a symbol of new beginning that exceeds all of my expectations…

…God coming to this earth to live, feel, and struggle just like me – and to FREE me from ALL of it. What an amazing design to live for daily and not just from now until Christmas Day.

December is about anticipating and celebrating His coming… Advent. I have to make an extra effort each year to be intentional and not give into all the commercialism. This is an ongoing process of change for me. And with each year, I feel like I seem to get it a little more.

Celebrating advent with my kids has been a huge help. The past two years, I’ve used: 

  1. Ann Voskamps – A Jesse Tree Devotional – I paraphrase the lesson since my children are young, but each night of December, we place a paper ornament on a special tree that symbolizes Christ’s story that began all the way back in Genesis.
  2. We also create a daily link chain of verses to go on our Jesse tree as well as follow a daily activity guide to go along with it.  (Although, this year, I’m slacking a bit on the daily activities… can I blame the pregnancy???)

I know as my kids grow older, this time of advent will revolve. Right now, I’m enjoying getting into the habit and am determined to have Christmas so full of Christ that it’s near to impossible for my kids to struggle like I do each year.

Do you have a plan to keep Christ in Christmas? Don’t think that since we are already in December, you cannot start now. It’s just about getting into a habit.

Here are some ideas to check out – there are many out there so do a little searching for the perfect fit. If you have a plan, I would love to hear your ideas.

While December is all about anticipation of His coming, January – November is about US coming to Him…

…coming in humility, with adoration and praise for His extraordinary plan. A plan He designed way before we were even created.

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