Advent: Your invitation to savour (and a free gift for you)

Can you feel the shift? The tip over towards Christmas? That usually leaves you feeling either excited or completely stressed. The to-do lists seem endless. The expectations on ourselves and our circumstances seem beyond reach. The wealth of opportunities can feel like pressure to add more and more in our days. This doesn’t have to be the case.
For the past several years, I have intentionally engaged in Advent. Far from being the out-dated tradition that I thought it was, Advent has become a time of intentional focus for me. It has become my invitation to slow down and savour the season. It has become the opportunity to help us to focus on what is real, true and valuable about this time and let go of some of the consumerism around the season. It can be those things for you too.
Now I will admit that I have tried to cram way too much in some years. There are so many amazing Advent resources and devotionals out there that I wanted to do as many as possible. That kind of defeats the purpose! Each year I create an Advent planner to help me and others take the time to plan out our Advent season to allow intention to happen rather than get swept up in the busyness. This is only useful if I use it and get laser-focused on what I really want to include, letting go of all the rest. For this year’s planner (a free gift for you), I have started with a page to plan that focus first and includes only small spaces for each day to force myself to be hyper-selective.

Get your free planner here: 

Do you know what has struck me this year? My little girl is growing up. A shocking revelation I know! I have had to have a tough look at what Advent activities to include knowing that she has school full time, after school activities, and is taken care of while I work some days. The fun daily craft we used to do is not possible this year. It feels like a transition year from little kid to the next stage of development. It signals a time to start looking for new resources for the future.
My plans for this year:
For this year, I will still be using my favourite “Truth in the Tinsel” Advent activity based children’s devotional. Last year, we only did a few of the craft activities and mostly did the colouring ornaments (how perfect is that resource for us busy mamas or for those not into craft!!). This year I am aiming for the daily colouring once more but I wanted to inject a bit of extra fun. I have seen others using the Shrinky Dink paper to create the ornaments and I am giving it a go.

We will also be using “The Wonder of the Greatest Gift” as our family devotional. I am so looking forward to seeing how much more my daughter gets out of this as her understanding grows.

As for my personal devotional this year, I am still undecided. There are so many amazing options out there that I want them all. I am praying through this and considering not having a devotional at all but using the time to dig deeper into the practice of centring prayer for this season. I will share more as we go through Advent.

What about you? I would love to hear about what Advent activities and practices you are engaging in this year. Let’s share ideas and encouragement.

Disclosure: Jodi Koepke is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This post contains additional affiliate links linking to Truth in the Tinsel. Thank you for your support of my writing at no extra cost to you.