Slowing Down for Advent

Advent 1I love making Advent a season of joyous anticipation in our home.  Over the years we have developed many traditions and I’ve tried to make plans for special activities to help point my children to Jesus in the midst of the chaos in the world around us.  Here are a few things we’ve done at least once:

This year, however, I feel a call to slow down, to purposefully step back from the busyness of the season and soak it all in.  I want to keep school work to a minimum, just keeping up with Ian’s online history course, playing math games, and reading with all the children a lot.  Rather than wrapping up books for each day, I’ve just left them all out for the kids to peruse.  Ian’s already started bringing me old favorites, and I hope we’ll all find lots of time for reading together.

Reading is actually my only real plan.  Last year we really enjoyed Jotham’s Journey by Arnold Ytreeide, a story broken into daily readings to be enjoyed through the weeks of Advent.  We loved gathering as a family every evening by the glow of the candles on our Advent wreath and the lights on our Christmas tree to hear about Jotham’s latest adventure.  It was such a hit that this year we’re reading the next book in the series, Bartholomew’s Passage.  I had planned to also go through Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, but it might just be too much to try to do both, so I may save it for another year.

I’m hoping to have all our gifts purchased by the end of this week so I can just rest, reflect, and ready myself for the celebration of Christ’s glorious arrival.  I’m sure things will come up, but with God’s help we’ll slow down enough to really enjoy the beauty of Advent.