a little and a lot

Thursday, December 12, 2013

God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlepeople

Our 12 Days of Advent begin this Saturday.  I will post a verse that you can meditate on alone or pray over together as a family, and I will post a little family activity for the day.

Some of the activities are gifts.  Some of the activities are things we do together as a family.  We make these part of what we give at Christmastime.  If you don't have time or money to fit these in, CHANGE THEM to fit your schedule and budget.

Items given during the 12 Days of Advent:
(these can even be items from around your house that you wrap up as a surprise!)
- Holiday PJ's
- Puzzle
- Gift for others (we usually give a donation)
- Stocking stuffers
- A gift that shows the recipient that their life is precious to you (I decorate ornaments)
- A gift that helps the recipient draw near to God
- A gift to give away

You guys, this season is not about breaking our backs so our kids can have special memories.  We forget what can be memorable & meaningful in a child's eyes.  We forget that special memories can be made without the extravagant and exhausting moving of mountains.

Let's all take a deep breath and just focus on the Gift that came...the Gift that is to come.  By all means, let's make some cherished memories & traditions with our family--in a peaceful and unhurried way.

For me, this means saying "no" to a lot of holiday invitations.  I love twinkle lights and ornaments, so we decorate a tree.  I am not big into playing Santa/shelved elves, so we bypass a lot of that.  I love writing handwritten notes to friends, so I send cards.  We have a limited budget, so we "give" experiences as well as things. What does being fully present during this Advent season look like for you?  Undoubtedly, it will be different.

I love Christmas carols--especially the old ones.  I have a friend from Colombia who leads worship in our church and is always lamenting how difficult these carols are to understand and memorize.  This is very true.  But they are also so beautiful, and with a little time spent dwelling on their poetry, we are able to draw so much meaning from them...

I pray the Lord gives you rest, celebrating friends.
Don't let your hearts be troubled--
remember! Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day
to save the world from Satan's power
when we find ourselves lost & wandering.
I pray for comfort over you.  I pray for joy within you.
(My translation of "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen")


Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more