I’m pretty much just keeping my head above water this Advent. I mean, emotionally I’m doing really well, and I may even write about why one of these days. (Long story short: 1 Corinthians 15:55) And I’m so grateful for all the support and especially the prayers y’all have been pouring my way. But when you add all the funeral planning and helping people process to traveling and speaking and then OH WAIT it’s almost Christmas better crochet all the presents—well, y’all aren’t gonna get a lot of blogging this Advent. But I did a lot last year, when many of you weren’t yet reading, so I thought maybe I’d point you over that way.
If you’re stressing about not chanting enough Latin or owning enough Nativity sets or cross-stitching your own Jesse Tree ornaments, here’s a reassurance: you’re doing it right.
If you haven’t yet bought all your Christmas presents (I’ve never yet bought all my presents before Christmas itself, let alone ten days out) and you’re looking for inspiration, I’ve got some recommendations for you:
- Here are my favorite children’s books–Christian and secular. Or check out my Pinterest board of gifts for my (young) Godchildren.
- Christian novels don’t get the greatest rap these days–here are some that should.
- If you know a budding apologist, these are the books I think every one should read.
- Finally, my favorite books to help you grow in your prayer life.
Last year, I decided that on top of baby-wrangling and crocheting presents for everybody at the last minute, I should also write a reflection on each of the great Advent antiphons. It was a great exercise but it’s definitely not happening this year, so if you want to meditate on the antiphon each day, click back through to last year’s:
- December 17: O Wisdom
- December 18: O Sacred Lord of Ancient Israel
- December 19: O Flower of Jesse’s Stem
- December 20: O Key of David
- December 21: O Radiant Dawn
- December 22: O King of All the Nations
- December 23: O Emmanuel
I hope your Advent is filled with silence and longing and undeserved joy. I hope you recognize your sin and the God who would stop at nothing to save you from it. I hope you run to the confessional and rest in the promise of Isaiah and listen to the deep theology in the Christmas hymns. Skip the presents and the baking if that’s what it takes–tell your family to blame me. Prepare for the Christ Child–and then celebrate till at least Epiphany. If it’s worth a month of preparation, it deserves at least two weeks of celebration, right? Happy Advent, friends. Be holy.