Advent is not about me. Freedom!

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So there I was teaching last month, zooming through Colossians 3 and giving women ways to let the peace of Christ rule in their homes over the holiday season. I felt the Lord depositing some serious truth and freedom into me as I prepared, so I was in the zone that night. And then out of nowhere, bam! Someone typed something along the lines of, What are some of the traditions the Kincaid Parade enjoys during the holidays?

In a melodramatic sort of way, tradition is a trigger topic for me. Tradition means I feel the pressure to make memories and leave a legacy. Tradition means I have the potential to mess up, to let people down, to fail. Failure. Fear of failure. It always comes down to this for me, doesn’t it? But enough about that.

But y’all? Advent is not about me. It’s not about my identity as a mother, or my skills or creativity. It’s not about making memories or leaving a legacy. Advent is not about tradition. It’s about receiving a gift I didn’t deserve. And once I’ve received that gift, it’s about enjoying things like the holidays through its filter. I’m intimately aware of how good grace feels when I don’t deserve it. I’ve got that receiving-the-gift part down pretty solid. Now it’s time to move on to the enjoying-the-holidays part. Now it’s time to embrace a little tradition. Here’s how I do that.

I buy all of the kids silly, footed pajamas every winter. I also get them each a new ornament, based on something they loved or experienced that year. We cut down our trees at a nearby farm. We eat Chinese food on Christmas Eve after church. Whoever finds the hidden pickle ornament in the tree gets to open the first present. I wrap all of my presents in brown paper, year after year. Once our children are old enough to appreciate gifts, they each receive three.

Well look at that! An actual list. I’m excited to build on it, with timidity and joy and freedom. I’m also excited to see what sorts of traditions you women enjoy! No rules. Just give us all a little taste of what your Christmas looks like. The sky’s the limit. Join the link-up below.

10 thoughts on “Advent is not about me. Freedom!”

  1. I love the hidden ornament for kids to find to open up the first gift. Makes it fun instead of a fight I’m sure. I’ll have to adopt that when my daughter gets older! And thanks for your raw perspective on Advent not being about us. I SO needed to hear that as my own heart falls into comparison of other’s traditions and how fun their advents are compared to ours. Just typing that brings freedom :)

  2. I love family traditions. Seriously, love them.
    But if I’m not careful, the traditions themselves trample right over the family identity and memories that are the root of why I love traditions so much to begin with.
    Love your traditions (we do several of those as well! The idea of gifting ornaments that are representative of the year is such a great one!)… Love the reminder that advent is not about me even more though!

  3. The hidden ornament is a great tradition! We have a favourite Advent sticker book, and Christmas itself starts with our Christmas Eve teatime and Christingle service. Less than a week to go now!! Happy Christmas!

  4. I love your reminder to put the first thing first and then enjoy the holidays in that light. So freeing indeed!

    I’ve never done a link up before, but something about it satisfied my desire to try something new (who has time for that this time of year?!). Thanks for the invitation to join! Hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

    Merry Christmas!

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