"Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Advent is a time of magical hope and joy as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Part of the Magic of Christmas is that, as the verse above states, its a gift from God to all people and not exclusive to Christians, therefore, If we are not careful the universal nature of the Celebrations can lead to secularisation, empty busyness and commercialisation causing us to lose sight of its real meaning. So how do we get back to experiencing and sharing the joyous blessings of Advent and Christmas?
Here are seven simple tips to help you experience and share the joy of advent!
1. Connect with your inner child:
Think back to the time when you were a child, Christmas was a sacred time filled with hopeful expectation. Re-live those moments by simply thinking or ‘meditating on’ the things that made you happy: Holding your mothers hand, playing with siblings, the comforting sounds and smells you loved. Focus only on the good and feel the joy of Christmas come flooding back!
2. Keep it simple:
Go for gifts and cards that share the meaning of the season, shop early and stay within your budget.
3. Be people focused:
Remember the story of Mary and Martha – Keep meals simple and allow yourself time and space to focus on enjoying the company of your guests.
4. Celebrate Advent as well as Christmas:
The word Advent is from the Latin word ‘adventus’ meaning ’coming’. Advent starts on the forth Sunday before Christmas.
Advent is sometimes called ‘Little Lent’ and is a time to prepare our hearts for the second coming as well as the birth of Christ. It’s a great time for soul searching; Lets ask ourslves: If Christ should return in this season, will we be ready to receive Him?
The season can be celebrated in lots of different ways including the use of advent calendar’s, candles to symbolise Christ the light of the World and evergreen wreaths, symbolising new and everlasting life.
5. Make Room for Jesus:
Take some time at the beginning of each day to read your Bible, meditate on scripture and pray. Focus on giving thanks to God for His gift of Christ to the world and for all He has done for us.
6. Me Time:
God wants us to prosper in body, soul and spirit, try to eat healthy, don’t overindulge, take time for long walks and for enjoying the good and simple things in life that make you feel most alive!
7. Wear a smile & Share the Joy!
Finally being joyful for me is a choice, it’s not about my circumstance or what’s happening around me, it’s about being thankful for the simple things, like sunny days, nature, blue skies, loved ones, family and friends.
As the verse quoted above from Luke's gospel suggests, Christmas is a season of peace and goodwill to all men, so always wear a smile, think, act and talk positively, do small things with great love, always be on the lookout for opportunities to do good, whether giving to the homeless, visiting the sick or bringing gifts to lonely neighbours. When they ask why we are so positive, we have an opportunity to share the reason for the season; tell them ‘Christ lives in my heart and He can live in yours too, just ask Him to come into your heart and He will’. Happy Advent to one and all, Let the joy of the season spread like wildfire!
For lovingly crafted, Ethical, Christ centred jewellery & gifts to inspire you and your loved ones this Christmas, browse and buy online at: www.silverfishjewellery.com
Love and advent blessings in Jesus,
Norma J Murrain, Jewellery Designer
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B18 6 HF. Together we can ‘Make Jewellery, change lives!