Advent by definition means an arrival or coming. In the life of Christ followers, it’s the traditional practice of celebrating the anticipatory time leading up to Jesus’ birth. The season begins the first Sunday in December and lasts four weeks – each day meant to prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of His arrival. What I love about this tradition is that it draws our focus off the craziness of the holiday season (the shopping, the parties, the presents) and onto the reason for the season, His birth.
This year, I am being extra intentional about slowing amidst the busyness to celebrate the Advent season and focus my heart on the amazing miracle of Jesus birth and the promise that He will someday come again.
Here are 5 simple ways I’m savoring Advent.
1. Advent Themed Holy Yoga
If you’re a fellow yogi, you need to check out Caroline Williams’ YouTube videos. Caroline is an excellent yoga instructor, and my fave part about her, she combines it with scripture. Technically known as a Holy Yoga instructor, practicing with Caroline is a perfecto combo of yoga and worship. Each flow starts in a restorative position where she grounds you in the gospel and then gets you moving, beautifully weaving scripture and truth throughout the entire flow. Every time I practice with Caroline, I walk away refreshed physically and spiritually.
As I was digging through her video archives, I found out that she has an ADVENT themed series with flows designed for each week of advent. I am seriously so excited to incorporate this into my rhythm this season. Tap here to check out this week’s flow.
2. All Good Things Collective Advent Devotional
Every day I am reading scripture and taking time to reflect on the Lord with the help of the All Good Things Collective Advent Devotional. The theme of this year’s devotional is “Do Less. Make it Mean More!” which is a perfect fit for how I want to focus this season. I feel the Lord pulling me to slow down and take time to center my heart on what He did for me through the birth of his son. “Each day contains one word associated with Advent, a Scripture, a simple reflection on that passage, and a space for you to respond and worship.” – All Good Things Collective
My goal is to read the devotional before I even climb out of bed in the morning, but we all know things don’t always go as planned. So I am excited to have purchased the digital version of the devotional; that way I have it right on my phone to access at any time. Snag your own copy here.
3. Stay out of the mall
I love buying presents for my people, and I love the festive decorations and hustle and bustle, but with everyone rushing around the mall the tendency to get cranky and want to poke someone in the eye goes way up. Plus, I don’t love being in the mall in general because oftentimes seeing all the perfectly curated mannequins drenched in trendy new threads has a perverse effect making me think everything I own sucks, and I therefore I “need” to buy all the things.
This might seem like an odd way to savor Advent, but staying out of the mall helps me to practice contentment and keep my eyes more wholly on the celebration of Jesus’ birth, not the present-buying part of Christmas.
4. Savor the busy moments
My goal for this Advent season is to create space to reflect on its meaning, but I’m looking at our December calendar and the empty spaces are minimal. With in-laws in Minnesota and holiday work parties, there’s a natural busyness that can’t be avoided. What I’ve decided to do is be extra intentional about savoring these moments instead of viewing them as obstacles keeping me from a slower pace. This slight perspective shift will help me choose joy, even in moments where things are really hectic, and focus on the blessings that accompany this season. Yes, the rush from MN to Milwaukee on Christmas Eve day is not ideal, but the quiet moments in front of the fire watching White Christmas with my parents or playing cribbage with my in-laws make it worth it.
5. Listen to Worshipful Christmas music
Every year before the holidays, I find myself fighting off what I call Christmas crankiness. With the craze to find the perfect presents, mixed with a jam-packed schedule, anxiety increases and I get lost in the rush and lose sight of the joy and purpose of the season. But what I’ve realized is that the Christmas cranks is not just a result of the busyness, it’s a direct effect of the evil one’s plot to draw my attention away from Jesus.
When I am battling the Christmas crankiness, I am going to turn on my Spotify Playlist: Worshipful Christmas and jam out to some of my favorite tunes that point me to Christ. Praise is an antidote to the evil one – jamming out to this list will not only pick up my mood, but will also put the evil one back in his place.
I love this playlist because it's a great mix of traditional Christmas hymns, non-traditional Christmas songs, and a few rocky ones by good ole Relient K and TobyMac. I think you'll love it. - Tap here to head to the playlist -
As followers of Christ, we know that Christmas is much more than the shopping, the tree, the decorations, and the get-togethers. It’s about celebrating and reflecting on the awe-filled night when an angel of the Lord appeared and said, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a savior will be born to you. He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10) My prayer is that as you enter this holiday season, you would join me in savoring Advent. Together let’s reflect on the anticipation of Jesus’ birth and wait fully engaged and hopefully attentive for the day He comes again.
**Have any favorite Advent traditions you think I should try? Leave me a comment below. **