Last week my husband and I took our four younger kids, ages 9, 13, 14, and 15 to “Illuminations” at Botanica.
Botanica is a massive botanical garden situated in downtown Wichita; there are nine acres of prime land filled with thousands of flowers, beautiful fountains and soul-awakening scenery.
Every August they start stringing lights to get ready for their month-long LIGHT SHOW, Illuminations. There are literally millions of Christmas lights, as well as themed displays and lasers.
Russ thought it would be a great idea to take our kids to this magical place during Advent. I agreed. We told the kids we were taking them on a surprise date.
We went on a 70 degree day, so the evening temps were comfortable, a perfect night to see Illuminations. Turns out that everyone in Wichita and the five surrounding counties had the same thought.
The crowds were intense. The lines were long. My Malaysia got tense. My David started his usual, “When can we go home?” mantra. That boy loves being at home. No matter where we go, he wants to get back to home base. Ten minutes ago.
To be honest, they made me mad. Why were they so dang irritating? Could they not enjoy the evening? Could they not SEE the beauty?
My goal: to make their Advent special.
What I forgot to consider: the individual needs of my people.
If you are like me and just want kids to conform to your expectations and enjoy the holiday season, dang it anyway, then I have a gift for you.
How to enjoy Christmas Without (Emotionally) Killing Anyone:
Dr. Eve Rosno, mother and practicing psychologist out of Lincoln Nebraska, created a free four-part video series for your Advent. Because Dr. Eve is a mother, the whole thing is practical. Because she knows about the inner workings of a mother’s soul, it is also inspirational.
The first week’s interview is with an author out of Colorado, Alexandra Kuykendall. The topic: How to Love Your Actual Christmas.
- Embracing TODAY not wishing for different times, stages, circumstances.
- Managing your holiday activities based on what’s truly important to you and your family.
- Creating and keeping traditions that are meaningful without adding extra stress.
I had many ah-ha moments during this video. They made me think. They made me listen to my heart. My greatest take-away: if I want to help my children have a special Advent, I need to get myself in order. As the mother, I can and should model the real reason for the season.
How to do that? I mean, there is so much to do. So many gifts to buy and make. So many parties to attend. SO.MUCH.
Then there is the travel. The extended family. The Christmas cards. The baking.
This video quieted the chatter. They gave me practical advice on ways to let The Story in.
If you want to be more inspirational as well as intentional in the way you handle Advent and Christmas this year, I invite you to enjoy this beautiful four-part series: