I admit it! During the holidays, I undoubtedly have FOMO, fear of missing out. I don’t want to miss a single invite if it means getting together with my friends having ornament exchanges, favorite things parties, or just being in their homes admiring their beautiful décor.
There is an idea I have that I know stems from watching all those Hallmark movies. It’s the story line where my family decorates the Christmas trees while listening to Deck the Halls and then piles into the car to drive around town with hot cocoa (that magically never spills) and look at Christmas lights. Instead, reality is chaotic and over stimulating. I get stressed out about how the kids are placing the ornaments on the tree and eventually I redo everything after they are in bed. And the drive around town admiring all the lights is reduced to me pointing out the pretty lights on our way home from one of the kids many activities, like Christmas piano recitals, winter parties at school, cookie decorating play dates—just to name a few. Then there is all the shopping to try to squeeze in. Gifts for teachers, coaches, family and getting all the food for the festivities. Whew!
None of this prepares my heart in a peaceful, loving, joyful, and hopeful way for Christmas. But I discovered something that does. Learning about Advent. A few years ago, I bought an Advent study and I loved how it made me shift my focus from all the secular things that I was doing that now just seem to make me dizzy, stressed and anxious. I’ve learned to sit with my family on Sunday at church and really notice the color and theme of the candle that is being lit, what it’s representing, and focus on that throughout the week.
I’ve been doing Advent conversation cards with my kids. We read one per day, then hang it up on the wall. Yes, I get behind. We might be 15 days into Advent, and I see only 8 cards hanging up. So, I speed read a few of them then hang the rest up to catch us up. I’m sure that over the years by the time my kids leave home they will have seen every one of those Advent cards!
I do hope that this year you can find a simple way to slow down each day and create a meaningful moment—away from the holiday hustle and bustle. Perhaps you can join Mother’s Fellowship Advent study or create an Advent wreath and lighting the candles each Sunday and reading the accompanying scripture to put the focus on Jesus.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6