Christmas can get soooooo crazy and take the JOY out of our lives.
But it's not supposed to be this way.
God didn't intend it to be this way.
My friend, Maria Hurty, found this to be an extreme problem for her as she approached Christmas Day in the past. She writes in her new book, Christmas Crazy to Jesus JOY: An Advent Devotional:
Not so very long ago found me on Christmas morning exhausted, angry, hiding in a closet and wishing that my family would just do Christmas without me! I was actually known to admit that I hated Christmas yet continued to work myself to a frazzle attempting to give my family the "perfect Christmas." So what is Christmas all about anyway? Yes, Jesus was born, yes - we do gifts, family, extravagant Christmas dinners, trees, decorations, cards, stockings, fudge, lights, and shopping 'til we drop. But, does it have to be so hectic? Does it have to be exhausting and expensive and stressful? I think not. If you're dreading the coming month, you're doing it wrong.
See the photo, below, that shows the back cover of Christmas Crazy to Jesus JOY?
Ha! That just about says it all, doesn't it? Are you finding yourself stressed out by Christmas planning and activities like Maria used to do?
In the Bible, Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30:
"Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden light."
This isn't a time-consuming book to slog through each day; it's a precious gift of 10 minutes or less that you'll give to yourself as you learn how to treasure every day of December!
Come join Maria as she inspires us with God's words from the Bible in twenty-four short Advent devotionals intended to warm your heart and count down the days until Christmas!
Today, you have the opportunity to win a free copy of Christmas Crazy to Jesus Joy by Maria Hurty! Knowing that Maria had just released her new Advent book, I asked her if she would be interested in having it reviewed and could offer one copy as a giveaway. She said, "Yes!" This is a very quick giveaway, being that we're already in the midst of the Advent season, so please enter to win your copy of Christmas Crazy to Jesus Joy by Thursday, December 15 at midnight (Pacific)!
And now, for this beautiful Christmas Advent giveaway!
Enter below, using the Rafflecopter form, for your chance (or several chances) to win a copy!
NOTE: Entrants must be 18 years or older; only U.S. residents are eligible to enter this giveaway. I will randomly select the winner of this prize using Random.org (via this Rafflecopter entry form).
Note: I will be verifying the winning entrant's giveaway entry options to make sure they are valid. In the past several giveaways I've hosted, multiple winners were excluded from winning even though their names had been selected randomly as winners, because they said that they had signed up for email subscriptions but had not completed the process, which includes clicking on an email you will receive to confirm your subscription.
An email subscription to Joy In Our Journey.com is not a requirement to enter our giveaways, but if you do use an email subscription option to enter to win, please make sure that you click on the confirmation email that you will receive. That will validate your entry. Thanks!
This post was originally posted on http://www.JoyInOurJourney.com
12/12/2016 07:22:39 pm
My family has been hit or miss with Advent traditions, and since we still have very young children, I've been trying to figure out what we want to do. This book looks great!
Hi, Valerie, one thing you can enjoy doing with young children is get a real or artificial wreath and place four or five candles near or around it. Light an additional candle each week, and every day, read a little bit more of the Christmas story with your children around the lighted wreath.
12/13/2016 07:04:48 am
Because we livied in so much transitIon for so many years, our little family did not have many Advent/Christmas traditions other than a tree and some decor., Church was a non negotiable but everything else was a bit no frills. Our lives are more stable and my kids are teens and they have instituted some traditions themselves. I realize now that a tradition doesnt have to be elaborate, just take something YOU ARE ALREADY DOING and declare it a tradition! It is anything you intentionally do, so play it up, name it as a tradition and own it!
12/13/2016 07:52:54 am
I have been neglectful as of late. I've tried some that I thought were going to be a big hit, and they were just too much to do with kids.
Sometimes, the simplest of things may work better, depending on the family and the children. I don't know how young your children are, but maybe you could act out small parts of the Christmas story every evening or several times a week when you light candles and make it a special moment for the family.
12/13/2016 09:26:18 am
I really did not even know what "Advent" meant! I googled it this year...As a family we have been intentional about focusing on the real meaning of Christmas. Talk about it in conversation, read Scripture, and take in a few neat programs that local churches put on each year. Our kiddos look forward to those programs that have become part of our family traditions! :)
I didn't really understand what Advent was when I was younger. At church, they would light candles for an Advent wreath, but that was the extent of my knowledge about it. Somehow, I came across a really solid explanation of Advent as a young mother, and it all made sense to be a godly, biblical way to lead our children and our own hearts to the fulfillment of Christ's birth on Christmas morning!
Robin in NC
12/13/2016 01:08:15 pm
No we don't do anything to celebrate Advent.
12/13/2016 05:24:45 pm
We do not do anything special during the Advent season.
12/13/2016 08:13:46 pm
This year I did an advent calendar for my husband. I struggle with honoring him as much as I should, so this was a fun way to do something special every day. It's a large wooden house with multiple doors. Behind some are riddles for a gift he will open from a box below and others are 'service' related like doing all the dishes for a week or giving him a foot massage. Every gift is received well, especially letting him control the radio on a car trip with no complaining from me!
12/13/2016 09:14:01 pm
We are 'hit and miss' with whether we do anything for advent or not. I've always enjoyed it when we do something to help us slow down and reflect on Christ. Sometimes, we just do the advent wreath in the week of Christmas - just because you don't start 'on time' the first week of advent doesn't mean you have to skip it ( :
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