'Tis the Season for Intentionality
'Tis the Season! There’s lots going on. There’s lots to get done. It can be a crazy time of year. Is that what you want for you and your family? Believe it or not, you have choices about this. If you model rush, buy, hurry up, get more. Your children will absorb that and mimic it. If you intentionally plan a few minutes of calm every day, your children will live that. Do you have an Advent Calendar and/or Advent Wreath? Open the day’s window and read the suggested scripture reading together. Light the candle(s) on the Advent wreath and talk about what you’re waiting for. What are you expecting? What do they hear you talking about? That will be what’s on their mind. How do they see you acting towards others? That’s what they will do. You are the best, most constant presence and teacher for them. Be intentional.
Do you have a Nativity set? Set it up now in a place where you all gather. But, don’t put the figures in it, yet. The manger and animals, okay, but have all of the others journey to the stable throughout Advent. Mary and Joseph don’t arrive until just before Christmas, so they could be moved closer day by day. The Shepherds and sheep come after Mary and Joseph. The Wise Men come on Epiphany (January 6th) – Christmas continues for 12 days. You can have a procession of figures to the manger throughout the Season of Christmas. That even gives time to talk about the story and wonder what each of the characters might have been thinking.
Another way to be intentional is in your gift giving. One family that I read about created a wonderful tradition for their family that helps to keep the focus of this season on the Christmas story. Three Wise Men. Three Gifts. One gift representing gold, the thing your child most wants this year. One gift representing myrrh, a practical purchase, something that your child needs. The third gift representing frankincense, something that involves time spent together as a family – anything that you can do together, at home or away. Relatives and Santa might give more, but the focus in the family is on the story.
Live and enjoy Advent,