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5 Tips to Make Advent More Meaningful Through Devotion

Contrary to what you hear and see, it’s a season of devotion, not decoration.
Lit candles on a table being used for Advent reflections

’Tis the season: Advent. Contrary to what you hear and see, it’s a season of devotion, not decoration. So I created a personal guide on how to use this month to prepare for a frenzy-free Christmas. Here are my five Advent reflections to remember the reason for the season:

Advent Reflection 1: Make Your List

Brainstorm gift ideas for Jesus, considering what he wants most. Best bet: the time-tested trio of golden forgiveness, sweet-smelling humility and the balm of a contrite heart.

Advent Reflection 2: Figure Out Your Plan

Worry less about the Christmas tree and more about Christmas triage. Reflect and put first things first: prayer, acts of charity, scripture. No one’s going to suffer if you use your time to worship God instead of wrap presents.

READ MORE: 10 Interesting Advent Facts to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Advent Reflection 3: Pump up the Spirit

Find a Bible verse for the Advent month and meditate on it while you bake or shop. I’m choosing Luke 10:41-42: “[I am] worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” Reflect on your verse of choice and stay focused.

Advent Reflection 4: Clean House

Scour your conscience thoroughly. Pay particular attention to corners you’ve overlooked and scrub away excuses. Apologize to those you’ve hurt. And don’t forget the dust bunnies—all the things God asked you to do but which you neglected. Confess thoroughly, and let God make your soul sparkle.

READ MORE: Our Editors’ Favorite Advent Candles and Holders

Advent Reflection 5: Remember Why You’re Doing This

The purpose of Advent isn’t to make people happy or to manufacture warm memories. Those are incidentals that happen automatically when we focus on the real thing: preparing our hearts to greet the infant Lord.

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