Advent: The right stuff, part two

Take quiet time. Parents report that part of finding peace during the holiday season means actively carving out time for quiet reflection.

Sally and Tom, parents of two, set aside one night to spend time with each child individually to talk about the coming of Christ. “We began focusing during Advent on the parallels between how we waited for each child’s arrival and awaiting Christmas,” Sally says. “We spend time talking about and remembering the wait, the anticipation—and even the fear and the glimpse of God’s face that is a new baby, a new member of your family. Our children have not yet gotten too old to love the parallels between themselves as babies and the baby Jesus—hopefully never will.”

Pare down your to-do list. Sometimes parents need to actively defend their family’s time during Advent. If it feels like others are defining what you’re doing during Advent and Christmas, it’s time to grab the reins.

Maureen, a mother of five, enjoys many aspects of the season but keeps an eye on the toll that too much activity can take on her family: “In the spirit of helping my family find the real meaning of the Christmas season, I try to keep my to-do list to a minimum by stripping off any activities which induce stress,” she says.

“Most of these activities are good ones on the surface—parties with friends and family, sending Christmas cards, and baking for neighbors, but if the activity loses its joy, then it gets axed. We focus mainly on Christ-centered activities such as Breakfast with Baby Jesus, an Advent event at our parish.”  Here’s part one of this article.

—by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the 2012 Best in Class award from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for the past three years running. Here’s a sample issue.

We offer very low rates for parish use, as well as our free Moms’ Night Out monthly discussion guides.

And don’t miss our popular single-page parish handouts on handing on the faith, helping kids understand the Mass, Lent, and Advent.

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