Leaning into Advent

Our family made a decision several years back to come around and participate in Advent.  I am so grateful that we did because it really helps prepare our hearts for the true meaning of Christmas. 

It puts our focus on the birth of Christ and less on the idea of consumerism. 

 It teaches us to have a Spirit of giving instead of focusing on receiving.  

It makes us pause, rest and wait for the celebration of our Savior’s birth instead of just rushing straight through the season.

I have all of these lofty ideas of how to celebrate, how to incorporate and how to participate in Advent and the Christmas Season… And boy does Pinetrist and social media help make these ideas loftier and loftier every single year. 

When I allow these ideas to get the best of me… I begin having a heart of comparison instead of leaning into the true idea of resting and waiting through the season of Advent.  Well… This year… As many of you who are following along with our traveling journey through this blog and Social Media, know that we packed up our things/rented out our house/bought an RV last January and travel the country with my husband’s job… Well along with the “packing up of things” all of our Christmas decor was packed up as well. I packed in such a rush that I didn’t even think to set aside one single item… No stockings… No ornaments… No advent books… Nothing. 

So this Advent season has become a simple one for us.  If you are tempted to compare your decor and celebrating with others… You are safe here on this blog… Because when you see our ways of celebrating this year… You will not be jealous at all…

  We believe that Jesus is the light of the world! We believe that He exists so that we can have eternal life. We desire for His light to shine through us… And we really focus on shining His light during the season of Advent.  We are staying the week in a hotel in Charlotte, NC and decided to brighten up our hotel room with Christmas lights so that we can daily be reminded to shine His light!  
   

 As far as  gifts, our kids get 3 Christmas presents.  We have been doing this since our oldest was a baby. We teach the children that we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus’ birthday and Jesus loves us so much that he wants to give us gifts on the day we celebrate his birth. We do 3 gifts because of what we learn from the Bible about the 3 Wise Men bringing gifts to baby Jesus in Matthew 2:11: “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” 

Following this idea helps daddy and I to not get stressed out with the gift giving and doesn’t break the bank! 

My kids love buying gifts for one another… But there are 6 of us… Which could add up quickly if we each purchased gifts for one another… So we draw names and purchase stocking stuffers for the name we draw. And since our stockings are in storage… The kids picked out a stocking from the Dollar Tree this year… And they seemed totally content with that. I have Pottery Barn stockings (that I bought on clearance) packed up in storage so I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money on new ones this year. 

   

    
 Since all of our Advent books are packed away in storage 😢😢 I printed these coloring pages and we spend the beginning of our school day reading scripture and coloring about the Christmas story. You can find these adorable printables for free at https://www.ministry-to-children.com/

Although my kids no longer  “believe” in Santa… we still have fun with our silly little elf every year. Our original elf was purchased from Elves from Catie. Catie was a precious little patient of mine who passed away from cancer. Her mom started this organization in her honor and you can learn more about it at http://elvesfromcatie.webs.com/ 

Our elf did silly little pranks throughout the season… Instead of being a stationary elf that watches for you being naughty or nice… Our elf was cuddly and fun and so very enjoyable… But as you have probably already guessed… Elle the elf was packed away in storage too… So this year we have 

  
Foxy Loxy… An Advent fox who teaches us about doing random acts of kindness….
This morning, Foxy Loxy was discovered on top of the hotel room’s coffee pot and left a note telling us to purchase a cup of coffee/hot chocolate today when we are out and about in the town for a random stranger and give it to them to help warm their heart!

There are so many ways to incorporate the true meaning of Christmas and I pray you have enjoyed reading about some of our ideas. I would love to hear back from you on how you celebrate the season of Advent and the true meaning of Christmas! 

I would also like to leave you with a link to a few books that we are very fond of to use as a daily Advent devotional/family reading time…

We are biased and absolutely love this devotional book because it was written by our pastor Louie Giglio. It makes a great gift… And see the details below about how you can win this devotional book for free! 

And this lovely Advnet book was given to us last year as a gift from one of our sweet friends…
 

There are several books in this series and makes a great book for family story time. I actually found ours last year at GoodWill! (Bargain!!)  

  

I am giving away a free copy of Waiting Here for You by Louie Giglio!!! Please comment below with a way you celebrate Advent/Christmas and leave your email address and you will be entered into the drawing! I would love it if you would subscribe to my blog as well by leaving your address in the bar to the right of the screen. But you don’t have to do that in order to be entered into the give away.

Contest ends Sunday at midnight and I will notify the winner via email for shipping info!   

From our family to yours…Merry Christmas!   

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5 thoughts on “Leaning into Advent

  1. Jessica L.

    In past years we have done different things for advent. Sometimes a simple calendar of scripture readings. Last year a Jesse tree along with The Jesus Storybook Bible. This year we are reading Jotham’s Journey. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  2. Valaine Hepner

    Beautiful post Heather! You have inspired me and my family to pay closer attention to the true meaning of anticipating the day we were given the greatest gift of all ❤️ It lifts my sprit to want to celebrate his birth and to be more giving. I made an advent calendar out of matchboxes about 10 years ago I got the idea from here http://www.marthastewart.com/sites/files/marthastewart.com/styles/wmax-520-highdpi/public/d20/ka98981_hol01_advent/ka98981_hol01_advent_vert.jpg?itok=3S3Lhc6o
    I like what Jessica said about the scripture readings so I think I’ll put scriptures in the boxes this year. You are such a wonderful example to your children and to other mothers (me). I think of you and your precious family often. With all my heart I wish you and your family the best Christmas blessings ever! When you get to a place where you can give me an address will you share it with me so that I can send you a gift? Love, Valaine

    Reply
    1. heather paul Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing Valaine and for your sweet encouraging words! I loved hearing from you. I will have to check out the link… If you made it… I am sure it is beautiful because you are so talented and artistic. Love you and your precious family. Merry Christmas sweet friend! XO

      Reply
  3. Jen B.

    Hey, Heather! I like your question to us about advent. I can’t wait to use your coloring sheet link. Thanks!
    This advent I feel expectant, and hopeful…as we look forward to the celebration of Jesus’ birth, I see a parallel in my own life. Many things that have been locked away and hidden are finally opening before my eyes. My sweet Ben has been getting better in body and mind and because of that, he finally understands the concept of Christmas (mostly). We are having to explain each little detail about this holiday to him. One of the saddest/sweetest/funniest things has happened this year….every single morning he wakes up thinking that it’s Christmas. He gets sad when he finds out it isn’t here yet. In order to comfort him, we have went to great lengths to show him when Christmas morning is by marking off the days and talking about it frequently. With his awakened and expectant heart, I’ve been more aware than ever before of this expectant season…it’s not just about getting to that end date, Dec. 25, it’s about yearning for him beforehand. I’m taking that to heart and trying to weave the meaning of advent into our homeschool lessons. It’s been the most joyous and peaceful Christmas season for my family and I. I attribute this sweet time to putting the meaning of this season into our daily lives.

    Reply

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