Awaiting the Wonder-
Dreading the Season?
In years of ministry with women,
one of the things that I have often heard
is how the season of Advent-
of Christmas preparations has got out of hand,
and often misses the mark for the
REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON.
Even conversations with young families
show how quickly the culture
we live in seeps into
the lives of Christian families.
Years of listening
and learning from women
has allowed me to develop
a list for some thoughtful planning
for personal and family Advent
preparations for Christmas.
1. Have a family meeting in October - or NOW-
to specifically talk about the HOW of Christmas this year.
2. Have each person write down 3 things
that are their personal favorite things of Christmas.
(this "makes" Christmas for them)
3. See how many are the same-- where the overlap is.
4. Vote on the the top 5 for THIS YEAR--
favorites can be rotated at other Christmas celebrations.
5. Have a honest look at your budget
and see where you need to make changes-
and how you might as a family
make choices to bless "others"
in the margin of our lives and around the world...
Heifer International, Lutheran World Relief
6. Speak specifically about tasks and the workload
about how to make relationships the priority.
7. Does our family Christmas celebration
spotlight Jesus in the manger, in our lives? What needs to go?
What do we need to keep?
8. Women often put the "perfect" and ideal celebration
on the list themselves.....
how can we see where we add to the "pressure"
and lists ourselves.
9. In our family celebration of Christmas
is it clear for our non-Christian
friends to see the difference?
10. In the ideal of our family traditions-
what would we like to see our children carry on
as part of their own celebrations?
Have we communicated that with them?
11. Seasons of life establish "new traditions"-
plan to evaluate and make changes every 5 years
as a family grows and needs shift.
12. As a group of women,
what can we do to help daughters have a "healthy" focus
and workload for the Christmas season?
These thoughts might be the beginning
of a reevaluation-
just what you are:
witnessing to others,
for Advent this year.
It is never too late to make changes,
and recenter your Christmas plan
for celebrating the birth
of the Christ Child.