Living the Season Well is a down-to-earth volume that encompasses the arc of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, introducing a new frame of mind about approaching the holidays. Instead of December ramping up to the pinnacle of Christmas, with a vast let down for everyone the day after, LTSW puts forth some practical ways to reimagine the celebrations and reclaim their generosity with an outward, other focus.
For those whose church background has not afforded them a knowledge of the Church Calendar, its feasts and practices, LTSW also serves as an introduction to the “holy days.” Rather than throwing out traditions that are hallmarks of more “high church” celebrations, LTSW puts forth simple ways to adopt or adapt the traditions of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
LTSW is NOT a collection of crafts and recipes to do with your family. It is also NOT a daily devotional for the season with inspirational readings or poems.
Living the Season Well puts forth reasonable, up-to-date steps for this electronic, screen-filled age we live in, a fact that impacts children as young as two. Included are examples and ideas to slowly change, adopt or adapt family practices with the goal of:
Bringing readers and their extended families closer to the heart of God
Infusing celebrations with the joy readers crave
Discover the wisdom of living by the Church Calendar versus the ‘calendar’ of consumerism.
Be able to model and pass on a joyful, thankful attitude in their homes by shifting the Christmas focus from gifts to God
Learn how to adopt or adapt practices for the season
The Book will:
• Outline the pattern of waiting for, celebrating and sharing Christ’s birth
• Provide specific examples of ideas for observing the entire Christmas season
• Provide resources and activities for children ages 3-18 to inspire and replace current practices
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Table of Contents
Introduction—Finding the Heart of Christmas 13
A Subtle Shift—Unwrapping the Gift of Liturgy 27
Advent—Why Waiting Matters 35
Getting Ready—Preparing Our Homes, Heads, and Hearts 48
What About the Presents?—Changing the Way We Give 60
Christmas—Savoring the Celebration 75
The 12 Days—Spreading Out the Holiday Energy 85
Epiphany—Telling the World 97
Conclusion—Wrapping It Up 111
Appendix—Books & Resources 121
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The simple message of Living the Season Well: Reclaiming Christmas by Jody Collins is to help readers appreciate the connection between adapting, or adopting, the liturgies of the church year by teaching us simple ways for families to approach the holidays without feeling burdened by it. I love that Jody suggests several inexpensive, and often free, ways to incorporate the timeless church traditions. How this Presbyterian-turned-Nondenominational-turned Assemblies of God (basically confused) mama of three needed this message! Jody's approach to Christmas is refreshing. Her mantra is to simply start small, start now. I know my family and I will be celebrating Christmas a little bit different this year. If, in the past, the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season caused you to break out into a cold sweat or develop hives, I encourage you to give Jody's book a try. As part of the launch team for Living the Season well, I received a PDF copy of his book in exchange for my honest review. Truth be told, I loved Jody's little book so much that I just had to order the paperback version for myself.
Living the Season Well is a wonderful accessible book and acts as a practical guide to de-stressing what has become in many ways a very rushed and frenzied time of year. It opens up fresh ways to explore Christmas as a more reflective and spiritual celebration. Practical suggestions are offered as each aspect of the liturgical rhythms of Christmas are explored, using the author's personal stories to illustrate. It feels as though you are having a chat in a warmly lit Christmas room, and contemplating the true meaning of this time together - the miracle of Jesus and His coming to us. You are encouraged to use this book as an active tool in embracing the presence of God over Advent and are encouraged to take steps, no matter how small, to seeing this time become a more mindful season all round.