Use a family Advent devotional to make Christmas special! Countdown to Christmas is a simple and meaningful way to unwrap the Christmas story of Jesus each day as you put up one piece of your Nativity and read a related passage of scripture along with the daily devotion. Today I’m sharing why we started a family Advent devotional to make Christmas special in our home.
Christmases are memorable for lots of reasons. There was the Christmas I hosted my husband’s family for the first time and worked to make everything just right. After hours in the kitchen, I was the last to sit down at the dining table, took a big swig of my sweet iced tea and discovered it tasted like dish soap! I learned the peril of talking in the kitchen when I’m cooking!
A few Christmases later, one of our preschoolers woke with a stomach bug and put herself back to bed. Not even presents under the tree could lure her out. One by one, we all succumbed to the same stomach virus, and spent the next two days in jammies watching Christmas movies.
Then, there are those memorably good Christmases.
Like the one filled with wedding showers and bridesmaid brunches for a December 29th wedding to my high school sweetheart. Or the Christmas we tucked up in a mountaintop cabin decked like a Hallmark Christmas movie. My Florida kids got their Christmas wish when we woke to the first fresh snow of the season.
We all want those special Christmases and we can get busy doing all the things to create the Christmas magic.
I want the gift list just right so my kids’ eyes light up when they open their presents. I want the house deep cleaned, the cookies baked, the cards mailed and time enough to check off a bucket list of Christmas festivities.
But trying to make Christmas memorable only makes me exhausted.
Because what makes Christmas special has already been done for us.
What brings true light to our children’s eyes will never be found under the tree. That can only be found when we look to the Light of the World.
What satisfies our soul will never be found in chocolate calendars or sugar cookies. That can only come when we draw from the Bread of Life.
What brings our heart joy can never be found in decked halls or festive parties or matching pjs.
That can come only when we trust the One who’s promised joy for us, abundant and complete.
In the busyness of December, Advent helps us turn our focus to the real wonder of the season — that Jesus took on flesh and made his dwelling with us.
Advent isn’t another task on our December to-do list.
Advent lets us make room to worship the best Gift of all.
If this season is one of pain, let Advent fix your gaze on Jesus who left heaven to walk with you in it.
If the stress to all the things is already pressing, let Advent remind you that Jesus came to do for us what we could not.
Instead of trying to create that perfect Christmas, Advent helps us worship the only One perfect.
I invite you to celebrate with a simple and meaningful Advent tradition. You only need 15 days, so there’s plenty of time to start and plenty of margin when days are full.
This Advent, unwrap the Christmas story one day at a time by putting up one piece of your Nativity each day and reading a related Bible passage.
The Countdown to Christmas family devotional starts with Old Testament prophecies of Jesus telling the story of Jesus’ birth all the way to the wise men who came to worship.
You don’t have to have the book to do this Advent, but Countdown to Christmas includes a devotional for each passage of scripture, along with a prayer and related Christmas carol.
A Countdown to Christmas helps us build anticipation and excitement not for presents under a tree but for our Savior swaddled in a manger.
All of our best efforts to make a special Christmas are temporary. The thrill of that just-right present lasts about as long as the batteries. And the yumminess of all that Christmas cooking will be forgotten by next morning’s breakfast.
Advent turns our focus on the everlasting gift and our eternity with him.
This Christmas, may our hearts delight not in anything we create, but in unwrapping the wonder of Jesus.