Playdates: Spying on Advent Traditions

The morning we trim the tree, fat flakes dress the earth in threads of white. In the boughs of the naked maple—a flash of red—a cardinal in a nest of snow. I watch from the window, my feet planted in warm. The house glows soft with twinkling light.

It’s quiet—quiet here, quiet inside the walls of me. I touch the moment gently—feel around inside my heart.

Is this how it feels, I wonder?

I’ve been looking for Christmas for 18 years—ever since I married my husband and felt free to open my heart to this beloved tradition. I grew up in a home that did not celebrate the birth of the Christ-child, see. And every year when December 25 approaches, I feel the bindings of those roots. I want to leave a different legacy for my children—one that delves deep into the mystery of Christmas. Every year I look for just the right formula, try on different activities with my family in the quest for the perfect tradition.

Hop on over to The High Calling to read the rest of the article and maybe get some Advent ideas too!

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:


Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

On In Around button

And with Lindsay for Messy Mondays.


  1. says

    No perfect formula. That is so true, Laura. We each celebrate the waiting and the coming as individual as we are.

    I grew up with Jesus, but not celebrating his birth per se, so Advent season took root only after I had my own children. Such a beautiful season I’ve come to treasure.

  2. says

    I’m heading over to THC to finish the story, but I am already captivated and can empathize with that feeling of trying to get it right when you didn’t have a role model in the first place. My issue isn’t with Christmas per se, but I so get what you are talking about.

  3. says

    Feeling the binding of your roots,
    wanting to leave a different legacy
    and daring to step toward that….

    …all takes courage to dream beyond what has been known…..and faith.

    All thanks to God who enlarges our vision, gives us eyes, put dreams in our hearts, empowers us to take the tiny steps that end up being a path well-chosen, well-walked.

  4. says

    There’s a character on the TV show “Community” who is a Jehovah’s Witness. They always address it in the Christmas episodes. It makes me think of you.

    Take all the time you need to explore Advent & Christmas. You are more thoughtful about it because it’s still new to you.

  5. says

    How blessed your children are to have you create a new Christmas legacy for them! I still have many keepsakes from Christmases of my childhood, including special ornaments and Nativity scenes, but I was not saved until 2000, so Advent now as a whole new meaning as I look forward to His second coming!
    Love, peace and joy,

  6. says

    “I’ve been looking for Christmas for 18 years.” Such poignancy in those words, and such reason for hope: He came looking for us. Love you.

    P.S. Saw you gave Ethel a shout-out over at THC. So honored that you included our zaniness!

  7. says

    I didn’t grow up with many traditions and am so glad that my husband came with lots of them. They have enriched our family and my kids love the security of doing things a certain way at holiday gatherings. You have a clean slate to make them your own. What a blessing.

  8. says

    We always had a tree when I was growing up with gifts. Our children liked to hang decoragions on door knobs as well as have a tree. I often purchase a christmas welcome mat for the front door. Other wise we keep it fairly simple. Our love lasts all year.

  9. says

    As a child we did not actually celebrate much. No birthday cake, no tree at Christmas. I remember getting an orange when quite young. Now we remember the birth of our savior and that is cause to celebrate with all the trees, tinsel and gifts.

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