Avoiding Holiday Hype With On-Line Advent Calendars

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. In the Christian church calendar, Advent is the “season” when we get ready for Christmas. In most Christian traditions, Advent has a dual meaning: we remember the first Christmas when Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the three kings awaited and rejoiced at the birth of Christ, while we also await and prepare for Jesus’ promised return. Then there’s the secular meaning of getting ready for Christmas–shopping, decorating, shopping, baking, shopping, wrapping, and (last-minute) shopping.

Advent Wreath

Even though it is December, I am not ready for the holiday hype. I am still digesting my Thanksgiving pie in the Thanksgiving mindset of gratitude, and resisting the pervasive hurry! buy! spend! messaging that is bombarding me from all sides.

From the conversations I’ve had with friends and the posts I’ve seen on Facebook and other blogs, I am not alone. People are talking about scaling back on the commercial excess, “taking back Christmas,” and focusing on “the reason for the season.” It’s easier for me to do this now that my kids are older, but I’ve seen brilliant ideas about how to help young children focus on the giving side of Christmas.

Looking at the calendar, I know I can’t put off Christmas shopping for too long, but in the meantime I plan to focus on the bigger meaning of Christmas with daily prayer and devotion time. I found several on-line resources that I can use to guide me through a more spiritual Advent season.

There are a number of on-line Advent calendars, but this one from Loyola Press (a Jesuit group) seems to be what I am looking for this year:

Online Advent Experience

There’s a Pinterest board by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist that will be updated every day with an Advent image and meditation:

Waiting for Advent - Starting December 1, 2013. www.ssje.org/advent


Prayer for the first week of Advent:
The light of God lead us and make us unafraid.
The power of God protect us and make us strong.
The joy of God heal us and make us happy.
The grace of God bless us and keep us loving.
Now and evermore.

Have you found a fun on-line Advent calendar?

How do you keep focused on “the reason for the season”?

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7 Responses to Avoiding Holiday Hype With On-Line Advent Calendars

  1. Last year we started our own version of an Advent calendar. For the next 24 days, there’s a card with a family centered activity to do. It could be as simple as making hot cocoa, taking a family walk to look at Christmas lights or donating old toys to charity. We all had fun doing it last year.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Meal Planning: Week of December 1My Profile

  2. Kat says:

    I like Angela’s idea – we should make our own!
    Kat recently posted…Weekly Workouts Roundup Wk of 11/24My Profile

  3. MIZ says:

    we dont gift each other anything which isnt TIME.
    an experience.
    MIZ recently posted…What are you GIFTING yourself?My Profile

  4. Cheryl says:

    Love this idea! We have meant to do it each year and are starting tomorrow! Thanks for the links..I have found the right one for our fam. Merry Christmas!

  5. Pingback: I Am Enough For Advent - Running With Perseverance

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