6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent

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6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Thanksgiving has passed and the Advent season has begun. It is a season of waiting, preparing, and anticipation.

Advent is one of my favourite times of year a we celebrate the coming of our Savoir. We spend the short days of winter in the dark anticipating the coming light of Jesus. We are reminded of the darkness of our sin and the light that salvation brings.

Advent seems to be a lost tradition on many who grew up in non-liturgical churches. Though I did not grow up in a liturgical church it has been a tradition carried on from my maternal grandparents passed onto my mom, and now myself.

Intentional celebration does not mean adding all you can to your month. Often it means simplifying and cutting back. Over the years, I have found 6 simple ways to create an intentional Advent that I would like to share with you.

1. Light an Advent Wreath

Advent wreaths are simple, yet meaningful addition to our celebration. For many families it lighting the candles each Sunday. Others, myself included light the week’s candle each night. A popular theme is hope, love, joy and peace.

I attempted to color my own soy wax candles with crayons. You can see my “failure” on Instagram. Next year I may buy these bee’s wax candles, or even buy a DYI kit to roll my own.

2. Go Light on the Decorations

Have grace on yourself, your house does not be decorated from head to toe. Choose decorations that reflect the spirit you want to show. In all honesty for years I was not able to have a tree most years so my Advent wreath and nativity were the focus of my decorations.

3. Read an Advent Devotional

There are so many wonderful devotionals that focus on the why of celebrating.

For years, my girls in Mexico and I read through Ann Voskamp’s “Jesse Tree” devotional. She converted it into a beautiful full cover hardback called, “Unwraping the Greatest Gift“. Every day we added a new ornament to our tiny tree and read a devotion that wove the story of salvation from Creation to Jesus’ birth. You can make your own “Jesse Tree”  and ornaments like we did.

This year I am going through two. I have one on my Kindle, “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” by Asheritah Ciuciu from One Thing Alone. (Right now she has an Advent Bundle Giveaway going on!) What better way to prepare our hearts for Christmas than focusing on who Jesus is and why each name is a part of who he is?

My second devotional is Ann Voskamp’s, “The Greatest Gift”. I’ve had to keep myself from diving into it too soon!

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

4. Carefully Choose What Events to Attend

As it gets closer to Christmas the invites and activities we can participate in pile up. Trying to go to every.single.one can get weary and take away from family time. Just because it’s a good thing does not mean we have to do it. Give yourself a break a pick just a few. It makes the season more relaxed and allows you to more fully enjoy the things you do participate in.

5. Create an Advent Play List

I love listening to Christmas music, I am definitely guilty of listening to some of it year round. (Jesus wasn’t born this time of year so why not listen to it in the spring?) As much as I enjoy Bing Crosby and bit of Jingle Bells I have come to crave the songs that focus on Jesus himself.

This year I have been working on an “Advent Playlist”. I am looking forward to celebrating Advent with songs of waiting and anticipation. Songs that remind us that we were once in darkness and now are in the light because of Jesus. (Maybe if I’m on top of my game I can put it up on Spotify in a few days for you.)

I am planning on saving more of the music focused on Christ’s birth for closer to Christmas, that way I can enjoy it through Epiphany as well. I enjoy celebrating all 12 day of Christmas and ending with a Rosca de Reys (Mexican 3 Kings Cake).

6. Keep an Advent Calander

Advent calendars are a fun way to count down the days till Christmas. Traditionally they go from December 1st through Christmas Day. The calendar I grew up with was a cloth one where a little bear moved from room to room in a house.

The calendar I created for my girls in Mexico was a long string with muslin bags attached. Each day had a different activity ranging from drinking hot cocoa to doing an act of kindness for someone.

 How do you create an intentional Advent?

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About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Comments

  1. Great post. Wish I had read it a little earlier. I always have good intentions, but being intentional this season is a different story. However, I now feel inspired for every day intention and traditions with the kids, so thank you!

    • Katie Mae Stanley says:

      You’re welcome! 🙂 I want to be better with every day intentions and traditions as well even as a single.

  2. Hi Katie,
    I didn’t grow up celebrating advent, but I like your ideas, and the focus on the real reason for the season. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!

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  1. […] the Advent and Christmas season. I am filled with such a sense of joy and expectation as I plan my intentional celebrations to celebrate our Savior’s birth. To keep things to a minimum, I prefer to focus on simple […]

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