This post is a guest post from Ally. You can read all her other posts here.
As Advent arrives, my Facebook news feed and my Twitter feed fill up with ideas.
“15 Great Advent Calendar Ideas!”
“10 Ways to Keep the Christ in Christmas with your Kids!”
“5 Great Children’s Books for Advent!”
It’s all so wonderful, full of bright colors and red bows and cute (so flippin’ cute) pictures of kids under Christmas trees.
My Advent, my Christmas, look a lot different that that.
There are no little ones to tuck into their beds, waiting with bated breath for Christmas morning. There aren’t any toy trucks wrapped under the tree. There isn’t even a sweet infant for me to lend as a fill-in for baby Jesus in the church pageant.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got ideas. You have ideas for how you want Christmas to go at your home… someday. You know what books you’ll read with your little ones, you know what activities you’ll do, what songs you’ll teach.
The only thing you don’t know is when you’ll be able to start doing all those things.
I have fond memories of the traditions in my family from when I was a child. All those magical moments that my mom lovingly created for us- I want that for my family.
The trouble is, there aren’t any children in my home.
So, how do we celebrate, how do we create those magical moments and those traditions, when our family consists of just me and that ruggedly handsome, but not very child-like husband of mine?
Well, of course, every situation and every family is different in how we celebrate. But here are some of the things that we try to keep in mind this time of year.
When it comes to making traditions, don’t wait for children. I feel like it’s easy to do- avoid putting up the tree, forget about stockings- because we don’t have any little ones to share the magic with.
Christmas isn’t really about kids. It’s about Christ.
Celebrating the birth of Jesus is a personal and corporate celebration of the church. We’re not talking about going to Chuck-E-Cheese (unless you do that as an adult- no judgment), “Dora,” or sippy cups, here. The celebration of Christmas is about so much more than all those children’s activities.
Don’t wait to celebrate it until you have little ones, or you’ll be missing out on a powerful time of waiting and watching for Jesus, and celebrating his birth to save us all.
Don’t Push It
Just because you aren’t waiting to start traditions doesn’t mean that you have to do all! the! things!
There are traditions that make more sense if there are little ones around. Visiting Santa at the mall just wouldn’t work well for my family right now- my 6’5″ husband wouldn’t fit very well on Santa’s lap, anyway, and I’m pretty sure my Trevor has a better beard than most mall Santas, anyway.
But traditions like baking cookies with Christmas music blaring, reading an Advent devotional at mealtimes, decorating your home- all these are traditions that can start now.
Remember, some traditions will come about authentically through the years- your traditions will change and grow. You don’t have to do everything this year, but you can certainly start a few this year.
Advent, after all, is the season of waiting. The season of longing.
Israel waited. From the time of the Fall to that most holy of nights, humanity waited.
Advent is the time to enter into that waiting with our brothers and sisters of old- to feel a small measure of what they felt in waiting for the Messiah.
As couples facing infertility, we know a lot about that waiting, don’t we?
God was faithful to bring His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. He was faithful to all of humanity through the birth of His Son to save us from our sins. He’s been faithful in your story, too.
If there’s a season to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness to us, His miraculous hand in our lives, it’s now.
This season can be tough. But don’t forget that we serve a God who loves us, a God who works in mighty ways for us!