Every year there seems to be an uproar over when it’s considered too early to begin the Christmas season. Some put away the fall decor and break out the Christmas tree weeks before Thanksgiving. Others wait until the Thanksgiving leftovers are long gone before even considering making the holiday transition.
While some prepare weeks or months ahead for the commercial aspects of Christmas, many believers have forgotten the practice of preparing their hearts for Christmas through the celebration of Advent. Advent provides all believers the chance to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas early by intentionally slowing down and following the biblical journey leading to Christ’s birth.
This beautiful tradition has gradually been lost in many denominations today. However, it should be a time of year where we grow deeper in our faith as we meditate on the events leading up to the birth of Christ. Both on a family and individual level, participating in Advent is a meaningful way to celebrate Christmas early.
Taking time to read an Advent devotional or follow Advent Scripture readings keeps my focus on what Christ’s birth means while I continue to enjoy traditional Christmas festivities. Learning more about the trials leading up to His birth also provides comfort and assurance that the trials we face now are only temporary.
I encourage you to take a step back this Christmas and allow yourself space to participate in Advent as we focus our minds and hearts on celebrating Christ’s coming. If you’re looking for a resource to follow this year, I invite you to download Jesus – The Greatest Gift, OneHope’s free Advent calendar, which includes a daily devotional as well as printable ornaments and coloring cards to allow the entire family to participate together.
I pray that you encounter Jesus in a fresh, new way this Advent season!