Celebration: Advent Week Three Devotion

“Why the pink candle? The rest of them have been purple.” If your Advent candles are traditional colors, you might have noticed that there are 3 purple candles, 1 pink candle, and 1 white candle. You also may be wondering why purple and pink at all. Why not red and green? Historically, purple and pink, along with white and gold, are the colors of Advent. Purple is a color that represents royalty and preparation. It is dark and serious. Pink, on the other hand, isn’t so serious. It is a color of celebration and festivity. A color of love and youth. (And if your candles aren’t purple and pink, that is okay, too.)

The first week, we lit the candle reminding us to Expect the Savior’s coming. Last week, we lit another purple candle (maybe) to remind us to Prepare for the Savior’s coming. This week, we light the pink candle (maybe) to remind us to Celebrate His coming!

The Advent of Christ is cause for celebration. Yes, we prepare ourselves. Yes, this is a serious season. Yes, we need to search ourselves for any need of repentance. However, we also recognize that our Redeemer offers us life and hope, joy and peace! He has come, and He will surely come again to put things aright.

And so, in the midst of the preparation, in the midst of our busyness, in the midst of our reflection and contemplation, we take pause and remember that Christmas is almost here and Christ’s return could be any day.

This is no call to weep and panic; this is the promise of the One who longs to put things back together. As His people, we look longingly for the return of Jesus, and we celebrate His presence in our hearts, in our lives, and in our midst.

Scripture Reading:

        Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

        Psalm 126

        John 1:6-8, 19-28

        1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Optional Activities:

·        During this week of Celebration, my family likes to do an act of kindness for our neighbors. We bake cookies, lots and lots of cookies, and we deliver them to our neighbors with our warmest wishes. Some of our neighbors know us really well. Some know us as those Christmas cookie people. We just like to spread some joy during this week. Some people might think it is weird. Some cookies may go in the trash. That doesn’t bother me at all. We are joyfully giving.

·        Have a Christmas party! You could invite some friends, or you can have it just for your family. A special meal, a special dessert, maybe even some balloons. Celebrate the Savior this week!

·        Make cards for people. Send out some cards, not necessarily Christmas cards, though you could include the kids in sending those out. But just make some cards to spread the joy and happiness of the week.

·        Have a Christmas dance party! Crank up the Christmas songs and dance and sing an evening (or afternoon) away! Joy! Joy! Joy!

·        Do something that brings you joy. You can ask each member of the family for one special Christmas thing they love and try to make that happen. Or you can take your list from week one, the expectations, and see if you can achieve any of those. Some ideas to get you started, drink hot cocoa and watch a Christmas movie, drive around and look at lights, grab a peppermint latte from a coffee shop, visit a friend or family member, drop off some toys for Toys for Tots. Just something that makes you happy.

·        Remember yourself and your spouse. Do something for you. Do something just for them. They love chess pie, though you hate it? Make a chess pie this week. You love fancy nail polish? Go get a manicure! This is a week of celebration! Not just for kids, but for adults, as well.

Father’s Day 2016 Gift Guide

Though I really do feel the same way about Father’s Day as I do about Mother’s Day, I’ve got a gift guide for you to help take the pressure off.

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This turntable would make an epic gift. It kind of says “you’re old” but more than that, it says, “I think you are a hip guy with super great taste in music.”

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Want to go a little more high tech? Get him an Amazon Tap! His own personal, portable version of Alexa. Stream music, news, audible books, and radio through this nifty little speaker device. Works through Wi-Fi or your phone’s Bluetooth for connectivity anywhere you are that your phone or internet works. This gift says, “I think you are a super cool guy.”

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Grab him a little personal grooming tool. While super practical, this gift says, “I think you need to trim your nose hair.” And, well, some people need to be told that, I suppose.

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This Billy Jealousy Beard Envy Kit is perfect for the hairier Dads out there. It says, “Awesome beard, dude! You’re so manly!” Because beauty products for facial hair is super manly.

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Get him a ukulele starter set! This gift says, “I respect your dreams to be a rock star but write the kid some lullabies first.”

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A portable hammock is a great gift. It says, “I know you’re a fun loving guy who needs to kick back and relax now and then.” It also says you think he is hip and active, even though you bought him the laziest gift imaginable, which he will really enjoy.

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Nothing says adulting like a letter opener. But with this letter opener, you can be a happy adult. This gift says, “You are more than a man in a cubicle. You’re cool and fun.”

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At some point every dad needs a dad t-shirt. It is just something that has to go down. Just know, he likely won’t actually wear it, but he’ll appreciate the sentiment. It says, “Yep. You’re a dad. A dad we like, but yeah, this is what it is now.”

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You can also go with the old cliché tie for a Father’s Day gift. The joke is so old that it is now fun to go with the classic tie. It says, “I know you have a sense of humor, but also, great fashion sense.”

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And last, but certainly not least, the Bigfoot Lawn Gnome Wrecker garden statue is just, well, perfect for anyone. When in doubt, go with Bigfoot and Lawn Gnomes. Definitely a winner.

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