31 Days to a Stress-Free Holiday : Plan Devotional or Advent Activities

The whole purpose in planning ahead for the Holidays is not simply just to remove some elements of stress and cross a few things off of our to-do list. The purpose is to realign our focus into the right direction. The purpose is to make more room for what Thanksgiving and Christmas are really about (which surprisingly is not actually about food and presents).

Today I want to you take few minutes to think about what you really want you and your family to be focused on this Holiday season. Now, brainstorm a few ideas on how you want to approach this; either individually, as a couple, or as an entire family.

There are so many wonderful ways and ideas to shift our focus from our own busyness and onto Jesus, joy, peace, love, family, giving, gratitude, and helping others. That, my friends, is what this time of year is all about.

How you choose to reflect and celebrate is totally up to you. You may have a tradition already that you would like to carry out again. My family has always made a birthday cake for Jesus and then read the story of His birth out of Luke on Christmas Eve.

This year, I’m planning on putting together a Jesse Tree. I really want to set my attention not only on the birth of Jesus, but the whole picture, starting from the beginning. There are an endless amount of ways to put together a Jesse Tree. My hope is to find a good amount of the ornaments (for each symbol) at Hobby Lobby during one of their 50% off sales. They have so many off the wall ornaments, I should be able to come up with something. For the others, I think I will use felt or clay to make them. I’ll try to keep you posted on how it all works out. :)

My plan is to also go back and listen to some Christmas sermon series from other churches, like this one on Advent from The Austin Stone. I just figure, if my eyes are on Jesus – the bringer of joy and peace – then all of the other stuff really doesn’t matter as much. Living with joy and a giving heart should come more naturally.

I want to hear what you’re going to do this Holiday season to shift your focus! Is there a special way you typically celebrate Advent? Or do you want to try something new this year? We can’t forget Thanksgiving either! Poor Thanksgiving…it’s kinda become the forgotten stepchild of holidays, hasn’t it?  {Santa comes in on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and then BOOM – Christmas.} What activities are you planning to keep a heart of gratitude? I hope you will share your ideas in the comments. I know you are all a bunch of really creative people!

I’ll be linking up to some GREAT ideas around the ol’ interwebs at the bottom of this post.

And speaking of linking up!.. I’m really excited to be co-hosting the Weekend Wonders link up party with Love and Laundry and The Thriftiness Miss later today. You should really check out their blogs!

I hope y’all have a really great day. I can’t wait to hear about your ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas!



Jesse Tree How-To {with printables}

More Jesse Tree   

Advent Coloring Book 

A Meaningful Christmas

Christmas Scripture Countdown Chain

The Thankful Tree

Thankful Table Cloth

Christmas Random Acts of Kindness