Jen Bradbury
Dec 11 · 5 min read

I'm thrilled to be guest posting today in Abby Norman's series, Sane for the Holidays. 

November has traditionally been a dangerous month for me.

It’s when people start blogging about their ideas for advent. In a single day, you can see dozens of ideas for advent devotionals and practices designed to help you anticipate Jesus’ birth. You’ll notice picture after picture of people adorning their houses with strings hung with artsy advent calendars. You’ll hear dozens of ideas for celebrating advent with kids.

And they’re all great.

So great, in fact, that I’ve traditionally wanted to do them ALL.

Every year, I’ve ordered the latest greatest advent devotional and started reading it with gusto. But then, life has gotten busy and by day two, I’ve been hopelessly unable to scrape together the 5-minutes needed to read that day’s devotion. So I’ve thrown it on a stack with all the other previously discarded advent devotionals and thought, “Some year”. I’ve allowed my good intentions to be swallowed by guilt – especially as I’ve watched my fellow bloggers and friends continue on their merry way with their advent traditions.

This November, I vowed, “Not again.”

As a new mom who also happens to be a Youth Pastor, my life is crazy enough at Christmas – without the help of the guilt that’s traditionally come from failing to practice advent the way I’d like to. So as soon as those helpful posts about what other people were doing for advent started showing up in my blog reader, I started hitting “Delete”.

Oh I know none of these practices and traditions are bad.

But trying to do them ALL is.

So I’ve stopped.

This year I’ve finally accepted the fact that I’ll probably never be the kind of mom who ties a string across her fireplace mantle and hangs a cutesy advent calendar from it.

I’ll probably never be the kind of wife who agonizes over setting the Christmas table just right.

I’ll probably never be the Youth Pastor who goes to every single Christmas concert and party she’s invited to.

Read the rest of this article here.