Keeping the Anticipation Alive at Advent!

As a child, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was opening up the windows of our Advent Calendar. Keeping my anticipation in check was the hardest part. (Or, maybe it was when I tried to reclose a window so others wouldn’t notice I cheated and took an early sneak peek!) This simple tradition never failed to increase my anticipation factor as the countdown to Christmas Day drew closer. Ahhh, it was a simpler time in life!

As I grew up, got married and had kids of my own I found Christmas traditions a bit more complicated. My husband was of the “everybody opens gifts at once” mindset, while I was brought up with the “one at a time” rendition. To remedy the clash of expectations, we created new Christmas traditions with our children.  Probably the most anticipated tradition was the annual trip to the woods to pick out our Christmas tree. Not only was the mini hike in the snow a fun family outing, but the event always concluded with a yummy treat!

Those days are now but sweet memories, and our new reality is that we often find ourselves alone on Christmas morning. Don’t worry, we typically have already had our cookie baking and gift exchange with our kids and grandkids prior to December 25! It’s all good, and with this stage of life a new tradition was born. 

Now, on Christmas morning, we open all of the Christmas cards we’ve received over the past weeks, as well as any gifts that have arrived from neighbors or church family (unless perishable, of course!). As the stack of Christmas cards grow, so does my anticipation. I can hardly wait to enjoy all the fun Christmas greetings, news and pictures while cuddled up on the couch with my husband! The only drawback to this tradition, however, was the year that we missed a Christmas Open House because we hadn’t opened that piece of mail in time to attend. (Bummer!)

No doubt, you have also made adjustments to your expectations and Christmas traditions over the years. But, one thing remains the same. The fulfillment of prophecy, and the hope realized in the long-awaited birth of the Messiah. The message of Christmas is just as relevant today as it was in the days of Mary and Joseph. So, how do we share this amazing message with a world that is pressing hard to make Christmas just one more holiday in a season of holidays?

We live out our faith - in a hopeless world.
We shine our light of hope - into a dark world.
We seek God's joy - in a world full of heartache.
We anticipate eternity - in a world of tears and sorrow.
We trust in God's Word - in a world of no absolute truth.
We find hope in God's promises - in a world obsessed with 'virtual reality.'
We find strength for each day - through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We reach out with God's love - to a world hungry for acceptance and peace.
We pray for God's grace, patience and mercy - for a world that is still seeking.
As each day passes, and the Christmas celebrations of this season become but sweet memories, may we each keep the anticipation of Advent alive in our hearts - now and in the new year!  May we each cry out to God as Micah, the prophet, did when he proclaimed - But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7) May we each grow in our anticipation - of the second advent of the Messiah - as we watch, wait and hope in the Lord!


  1. What a sweet tradition you and Denny have for Christmas morning. Thanks for the reminders of what Advent is an what we should be doing. Merry Christmas.


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