Boxes and boxes filled with decorations. Each one familiar, but precious, because each carries a memory. Most bring a smile. A few cause a tear or two to trickle slowly down my cheeks. Each fills my heart with joy.

This year, there’s also unfamiliar. A new house. Where do things belong? Some have a familiar spot. Santa and elf mugs go on the teacup shelf, the row of Santas on the top.

I think I found the perfect spot for the nativity with the Scripture verses. This year I’ll add tiny lights and a wooden tree that says O Holy Night, Van’s favorite Christmas carol.

The advent wreath sits in the place of honor in the center of the living room on the coffee table.

Celebrating the Familiar Through Advent

This year, we have a new wreath. Our fifth. We started lighting advent candles in 1982 when Kimberly was five, and Erin was three.

Every Sunday we lit a candle, read a verse, and sang a carol. In the middle of all the decorations and gifts and Santa, we wanted Jesus to remain the focus of our celebration. We wanted our girls to remember and cherish the Savior. Immanuel. God with us.

Advent means coming. All through December, we live with the joy of remembering the coming of Jesus.

  • Jesus coming to earth in the form of a baby. God coming to save us through His Son.
  • Jesus coming to live in our hearts. His constant presence. Never leaving or forsaking us. Helping and guiding and comforting. Providing peace that passes understanding. Cultivating the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Jesus coming again to take us to our eternal home. Reign with love and peace as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
A Break from the Familiar Whirlwind of Activity

Through this season of celebration, I pray you find joy in remembering the coming of Jesus. The hope and joy you have in Christ take center stage, overwhelming you with peace even in the midst of juggling too many things to do and not enough time to accomplish it all. I pray you find time to reflect on the gift of Jesus. In the familiar traditions, the whirlwind of activity, mounds of pretty packages, you celebrate the coming of Immanuel.

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