Create traditions so that you have memories.
Make Christmas meaningful and not material.
Three unwritten rules about Christmas.
Deciding how my family would celebrate Christmas was not a quick decision. The marketing and materialism of December made me sick to my stomach whenever I went into stores. There was a time where I wasn’t sure any part of the Christmas holiday had any meaning that God would approve of.
It took a few years to find Christmas traditions and styles that I felt might please the one who’s birthday we ostensibly celebrate. And the Advent calendar became a central point of this celebration.
I don’t like the pre-made store advent calendars with a little picture behind a window or worse, only a candy piece. And I don’t spend much money on decorations because it isn’t in the budget. So I strung together these cheap, chinese carry out style boxes. Each December during normal devotion time, the girls open a new box. The contents vary from year to year. But each year there is a piece of paper, a small candy, and in one or two boxes Christmas ornaments. And honestly, the calendar might be the girls’ favorite part of December. They cheer and count down the days until the calendar starts!
I change what the paper says each year. Some years it is the name of Christmas song we will listen to (you can tell the whole Christmas story through carefully chosen songs). Other times it is scriptures that tell the story. Some years the papers have riddles to solve about part of the Christmas story. And some years there are page numbers to correspond with a devotional we are reading. One year we read through The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Welchel and Jeannie Mooney. It described Christmas traditions and their meanings. This year we will be using a free devotion from Ann Voskomp, author of bestseller, One Thousand Gifts. Her devotion is called A Jesus Advent Celebration and you can print it for free here.
And honestly, the calendar might be the girls’ favorite part of December. They cheer and count down the days until the calendar starts! It has added meaning to our celebration, which fits the unwritten rules.
Do you celebrate Advent? How?