Preparing Your Hearts and Homes for Christmas - and Freebies!
Growing up, my family's motto was always "Better late than never!"
We almost always made it to Mass in time for the homily, and usually in time for the first reading. At a family reunion with well over one hundred people, there was not a single event that started less than half an hour after the posted start time. It was even on the t-shirts we made for the reunion!
You may have even noticed that this post is a day or so late...
If you're like me, or maybe if you're still looking for ways to make your Advent more meaningful, I have a couple of things for you.
I'm speaking today and tomorrow at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. Their Mother's group is simply amazing, and I'm helping them to prepare their hearts and minds for Christmas.
It's so easy for us to get caught up in the chaos of the Christmas season - end of the year recitals, tournaments, parties, Christmas shopping... It can be difficult to fit Jesus in.
How do we remember the reason for the season? How do we keep Christ in Christmas when so many other things simply have to be done?
Bring Jesus with you
Mary immediately went to visit Elizabeth after she became pregnant with Jesus. She hadn't said a word when she arrived and Elizabeth exclaimed, "How is it that the mother of my Lord has come to me?"
When we bring Jesus with us, people can see it. Don't you know those people? The ones who have peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, etc., etc. We can do it, too. Just ask. It's a quick prayer.
"Lord, how can I bring you into this event/situation/relationship?"
Tell the story
Here's where the freebies come in!
I have two Advent calendars that you can create in minutes, and trust me - if I can do these, you can do these. I am not known for my artistic or crafting skills.
First is the Jesse Tree. Each day, you tell a part of the story starting at the beginning. Jesus didn't come out of nowhere. There were signs all along the way telling us who He was going to be and what He was going to do for us. In this simple download, you will receive the story/reading for each day and instructions to put together your own Jesse tree. Easy!
Next is a mini-muffin tin Advent calendar. A few printable magnetic sheets, hole punches or scissors, and a muffin tin, and you've got an advent calendar. Add little chocolates or prizes for an extra special treat! Each day you hear a little bit more of the Christmas story. It's a slow stroll to the manger and helps keep Jesus in each day of Advent. You'll be surprised at the details you discover.
For example, Mary was afraid at the sight of the angel. What do you think angels look like? I've always thought of them as cute, fat, little babies with wings. Apparently not...
Click here for your free downloads.
Find your story
It's so easy to get caught up in all the "stuff" of the holidays that we forget to take care of our relationship with God. As a spiritual director, I help people focus on their relationship with God as something to be discovered, treasured, and cultivated. I love helping people find their foundation and direction in faith.
I'm giving away a free hour of spiritual direction to be used during Advent or in the next year if your December is just too busy.
Happy and Blessed Advent!