Friday, November 21, 2014

Advent- Awaiting the Wonder- Part Three

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 

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
 and talk
 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, 
believing and
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.

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