How do you celebrate Christmas? Is this a stressful time ~ shopping, cooking, parties, worried about finances, seeing "those" relatives, no time to relax? I know I have spent too many years stressing about all of these things and if you have children you might have the added stress of finding THE present they really, really want. :-) I have decided that this year will be different. The birth of Jesus won't be something we remember here and there and at church on Christmas Eve. This year His birth will be the focus - our greatest gift!
Have you ever celebrated Advent? This is the first year for my family and I am so excited! God put the right people in my life (other bloggers) and made it very easy to find some great resources for our celebration. We even have a live Advent tree for all of the ornaments the kids will make. My step-dad and oldest son went out in the woods and cut it down for us. I am ashamed to say that I got a little aggravated with the tree when we were putting it up. It is a prickly tree and I ended up with a few thorns in my fingers. After we got it set up and I sat down to look at it, I thought about the crown of thorns they put on our Saviors head. I was complaining about a few very small thorns in my fingers. My attitude definitely changed after that. Our Advent tree is my favorite one now. I look at it and think about that sweet baby that was born to save us and how he was ridiculed, beaten, and died for each one of us. His gift to us was and is eternal. It is a gift that we need to share with others. Do you know someone that needs His gift of salvation? Don't wait, share it with them today. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
I have always loved this time of year but this year we will truly keep Christ in Christmas.
If you are interested in Advent, here are the two books I plan to use this year (one for me and one for the kids).
Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus-
Truth in the Tinsel-