Saturday, December 17, 2011

Joy To the World

Every year, after Christmas is over, I tell myself that next year, I'm going to simplify things, slow down, and put less pressure on myself to create the "perfect Christmas." In all the busyness of this season, it's easy to lose the true focus of our celebration. Don't get me wrong, I love my Santa collection, and singing about Rudolph and Frosty. But the wonder of Christmas, and what brings peace during this season, is preparing for the birth of Jesus. 

Today's tradition turns to the sacred side of Christmas. To help us slow down and focus on the wondrous expectation of the season, our family celebrates Advent on the four Sundays before Christmas. We quiet our hearts (that's hard to do these days, isn't it?), read a devotion, and light that week's candle.


Each year, I try to find a book to read that will help me focus on the true meaning of Christmas and to use during our devotions. This year, I am using two books. The first is The Journey, by Adam Hamilton. This fascinating book takes us on Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, and provides fresh insights into a familiar story. I highly recommend it. 

We are also using the book Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, by Paul Wesley Chilcote, which is a book of Advent and Christmas devotions based on the wonderful hymns of Charles Wesley.

In past years we have read Advent Conspiracy, which talks about replacing consumerism with compassion during the Christmas season. I also enjoyed Immanuel: A Daily Guide to Reclaiming Christmas.

As we head into the week before Christmas, I hope you all find moments to slow down, quiet your hearts, and experience the true joy of the season.


9 comments:

The Cottage Market {Andrea} ♥ said...

my heart has been touched! sending you holiday hugs...

donna said...

What a sweet post. You are right we all need to slow down. Thank you so much.
Hugs
donna

Shirley Hatfield said...

When my children were little we brought the Advent wreath custom from Germany. Out first Sunday was the one after Thanksgiving and that was the night we decorated the tree. Now the kids are grown and I miss those Sunday evenings. Thank you for bringing back those precious memories.

Kim K. said...

A beautiful reminder.

My Vintage Mending said...

Beautiful...Merry Christmas...Renee

GardenofDaisies said...

I do love this time of year. I'll have to take a look at the books you listed. We love setting aside time each week to attend advent services, to slow down and remember what Christmas is all about.

❀~Myrna~❀ said...

Wonderful Post! Wwe do similarly with grandkids .I will check those books out .

D said...

Hi, Betsy,
Thank you for the reminder. I think we all need it. It is hard amid all the hustle and bustle to remember that "silent night" when Jesus came.

Little Susie Home Maker said...

Beautiful post, Thank you, Betsy!