Making Advent Harder Than It Needs to Be
Apparently, I'm not the only one that makes things harder than they need to be! After hitting publish on that last post, I thought of several areas where this is glaring at me right now. (I'm sure there are others, but two are in the forefront of my mind right now.)
The first is Advent.
I realize that it is December 1 today and if you are like me you have been inundated with Advent every where you turn for the last few weeks. Daily activities for children. Countdown calendars. Devotional books for adults. Devotional books for children. Jesse tree projects. Christmas book projects. And, on and on. There are just so many options - good options - that it gets overwhelming. And I tend to think that I need to reinvent the wheel every year and if we don't do all the things I will fail my kids utterly.
That's really not true. (Whew.)
I am giving myself permission to keep out Advent simple. For the most part, I'm not planning on buying anything new. (Except for the chocolate Advent calendars ... last year's were eaten). :) I'm reading an Advent devotional that has been on my Kindle for at least a year (maybe two) and I've never read it. We are going to read all our Christmas story books without wrapping them. And that's really as far as I've thought about it. Micromanaging our month is not just stressful, but it's not really all that fun either. Most of the things that would probably be on my "want to do" list happen naturally without needing to make a note that we are making gingersnaps on the 8th of December no matter what unfolds on that day's schedule.
December always seems to hold a magic of its own and when I overplan and overschedule, I tend to miss it. And for me, instead of December being about all the extra activities, it is about the margin that comes to our schedule because of the break from Wednesday night church and gymnastic practices and music lessons. It's more nights at home and time to make a real dinner as opposed to eating quesadillas over the stove as I cook them up for everyone before heading out the door. Margin to take a meal to someone that needs it, or for those one-on-one shopping trips with a child that usually always includes a trip for coffee or a donut.
Maybe that's where I've been getting it all wrong ... focusing on the more, more, MORE that comes with December instead of embracing less. Less stuff, less going, less "me, myself and I" this month. I think this is the direction I'm going to head this way for this year.