Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Best way to prepare for Christmas? The Night Before Advent Party 2016


I have to admit, the day following Thanksgiving, I was far from being filled
with the Christmas spirit!!
In fact, Scrooge and I had about the same attitude.
BAH-HUMBUG!!
Do we really have to climb up in the attic and drag
down a bunch of boxes, collect all the leaves and pumpkins decorating
the house, and clean up??
All while still bloated from the turkey and green bean casserole?
I mean, what's the stinkin' hurry?




We had just walked the halls of the hospital a couple days before,
to say goodbye to a precious friend who's Christmas picture from
last year is still hanging on my refrigerator.
The cancer had returned.
And though we had prayed and prayed that she would go
into remission for a second time,
it was not to be.
She went home to Jesus that night.
The night before Thanksgiving.
It's hard to celebrate when you're wiping tears from your eyes.





But that morning I was reminded that Sunday was to be the first day of Advent.
That time of waiting.....hope!
Anticipating a coming.
Looking intentionally.
Of preparation.
I was inspired by this {click here} to actually throw a little party.


So we did.
We had so much fun whipping things into shape, setting out the 
simplest things, just to prepare our hearts and mind 
for what this season is all about anyway.
When we are grieving the loss of dear one's, watching the world around us
burn up and blow away, walking through frightful valleys, drowning
in loneliness, shouldn't we gather together and look to Jesus?
Anticipate His coming?
Talk about ways we will be looking to BE a blessing
rather than simply RECEIVE all the blessings.
About ways we can give more!!
We set up our Jesse Tree and pulled out the ornaments that will
go on that every day as we talk about Jesus' geneology.
His family tree that pointed the way to His coming
and ultimate death on Calvary's tree.


This was not complicated, nor did it cost a lot of money.
I just picked up some canned hot chocolate mix with some fun fixings.
Store bought cookies took off a lot of stress too.
This wasn't about excess and "rockin' around the Christmas tree."
Simple. Sane. Sacred.

One thing that we did to cap off the evening that we've never, ever
allowed before was to present our children with
their first gift of Christmas!
It was a total surprise for them because they beg and beg every year
to open a gift early and we've always stood firm.
They absolutely did not see it coming and the squeals of joy
were delightful!






I think we've discovered a brand new family tradition.

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