Sunday, December 1, 2019

Coming Home for Christmas Advent Celebration!


Erica Vetsch here, and I am delighted to kick off the Coming Home For Christmas Advent Celebration here at Seekerville in 2019.

For the next 24 days, we'll be anticipating and celebrating the birth of Our Savior. We'll be sharing each day, with current and former Seekers, guests, and YOU!

Our theme this year is Coming Home for Christmas, and each post will share a memory, a tradition, or possibly a recipe or event that is dear to the heart of the writer and invites you, the reader, to come into their "home" for Christmas.

Also, in the spirit of the season, each day will feature a giveaway. Come back each day for encouragement, fellowship, and celebration.

And don't forget to enter the Kindle Fire drawing found at the end of each post during the Advent Season. We'll choose a winner after 12/25/19 and announce it on New Year's Eve Day!

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When I think of Christmas, there are so many memories that jump into my mind. Great times as a child. Great times when  became a parent myself.

I love that so many families have traditions unique to them. For the Vetsch family, we always read Luke chapter two on Christmas morning before we open gifts. We have breakfast waffles each Christmas day. We watch Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim sometime in December.



As for memories, I have one particular memory that stands out, and that one instance has also now become a tradition.

Several years ago, in the middle of a super-busy holiday season full of basketball games, cookie exchanges, church responsibilities, shopping, etc. I was feeling more than overwhelmed. I just wanted December to be over. How sad is that?

I was expressing this frustration to my calm, steady, even-keeled husband, and he asked me, "What can I do to help you through this?" (Isn't he amazing? Sorry ladies, he's all mine.)

"I just need to sit, to talk to you, to take some time in the middle of the storm of activities to rest."

So we did. We turned off all the lights except those on the tree, sat on the sofa with my head on his shoulder, his arm around me, and we talked. We reminisced about previous Christmases, we talked about our wedding memories (We have a December 16th Anniversary...30 years this year!) we talked about how we met, and our first date (also in December.) We didn't talk about things we needed to get done, problems at work, or family issues.

Though we were much too old for such nonsense, we stayed up talking until nearly three in the morning! But, when I rose the next day, by heart and mind were so refreshed, that I didn't even care that I was short on sleep.



That time together in the midst of the busyness was so restful, we've repeated it at least once each December (Though we don't always stay up nearly all night.) We turn off the overhead lights, maybe light a few pine-scented or peppermint candles, and enjoy the quiet and beauty of the Christmas tree and each other.

This Advent Season, I encourage you to carve out time to be still and remember. To let go of all the busyness, the must dos, and the expectations, and just rest and reflect.

Tell me, what are you most anticipating this Christmas season?

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Today's giveaway is both Christmas and Reader-related. I'll be giving to one person who comments, a pair of "Library Card" socks, and a copy of my Christmas book: A Child's Christmas Wish. (US Only for the socks and print book...if you're an international, and you win, I'll send an ecopy of the book to you!) Answer the question in red above, and you'll be eligible to win.

These are so fun! I have
a pair myself!

A Baby for Christmas

The only Christmas gift Oscar Rabb’s four-year-old daughter prays for is one the widower can’t provide: a baby sibling. And when his neighbor’s house burns down, he’s willing to open his home to pregnant and widowed Kate Amaker and her in-laws—but not his heart. Even if his little girl’s convinced Kate’s unborn child is the answer to her wish.

Kate quickly sees the generous but aloof Oscar has little interest in growing closer to his houseguests. Still, she intends to make the coming Christmas a season to remember for his daughter. And as Oscar starts to open up to her, Kate can’t help picturing just how wonderful the holidays—and a future together—might be.


Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she is married to her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!



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29 comments:

  1. I love Christmas. I love the beautiful humanity and godliness of the Christmas story but for a long time I let the crazy rule the day...

    Now I work to "Keep a Simple Christmas". We try to do things together that help others. We keep gifting to a minimum. Well, kind of, it's a huge family so it doesn't look minimum! And I want my December to be filled with Advent thoughts... and I want my house lighted up because it's stinkin' dark up here in December! So I am my own conundrum sometimes, but that's okay, because the simplification is at least slowing me down if not putting brakes on completely.

    Erica, I love this. Thank you for sharing it with us! And happy first day of Advent!

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    1. Happy first day of Advent to you and yours, Ruthy! I LOVED your Nativity picture with all the grands. That is so sweet!

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    2. It took us three years to make that happen, LOL! The original one I planned had Lena (now four years old) as Baby Jesus.... and little Dave was going to be Joseph, but Nathan hit a growth spurt last year and he's 5'8" now so he had to be Joseph!!! Distance is a tricky thing for photo ops!!!!!

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  2. I love Christmas and the Holiness of the season. I admit I’m struggling this year with just losing my precious daddy, but I promised my husband I would decorate, so I am going to attempt that today after church. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories. Blessings

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    1. Lucy, it's hard, isn't it? Oh, bless you for taking the steps forward. Praying you through this!

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    2. Aw, Lucy, that is so hard. I pray you find some sweet memories throughout the holiday season that remind you of good times past, and of good times yet to come.

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  3. Thank you for all of the giveaways! I am most anticipating all the traditional Christmas movies and Christmas baking. I also always look forward to our family's tradition of driving around and looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve with my in-laws, stopping for hot chocolate (and usually a snack), and then coming home to open one small gift for each person and using that gift. Usually we choose a board game or a movie so that it's conducive to family time.

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    1. Lila, that's a lovely tradition! And who says traditions have to be expensive? Yours is lovely! And any excuse for hot chocolate works for me! Thanks for sharing your Sunday with us!

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    2. Those are wonderful traditions, Lila! We love looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, too!

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  4. Lovely, Erica. Those quiet moments of togetherness are so important and especially during the December rush!

    Happy Anniversary on the 16th. That's my son-in-law's birthday. Not only do we have Christmas to enjoy each year, we also celebrate three birthdays...my husband's, my son's and my son-in-law's. It's a busy but joyous month!

    Happy First Sunday of Advent to all!

    What I most anticipate is being with family...my children, children-in-law, and grandchildren!

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    1. Happy December, Debby! We make such lovely memories with family at this time of year, don't we?

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  5. Erica, I love this story of you and your husband! How wonderfully sweet. And what a wonderful tradition now. :)

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    1. Thanks, Missy! It certainly refreshes my soul during this busy season!

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  6. Love your memory and tradition. I actually do the same thing. I'm the first one up and I will come down and sit in the dark with just the Christmas lights on. I will turn on a small lamp and read my Bible. I will sit and pray and just enjoy the quiet around me. I think it's important to take that time to focus on the Jesus.

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    1. Joy, you are so right! We need to remember that the Season is about The Prince of PEACE. Your morning time sounds so cozy and restful.

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  7. Loved your post, Erica. Sweet story. I often stress too much about doing so much at Christmas. I need to slow down and remember why we celebrate this season. We have our own Advent wreath at home and will light it and do the readings each Sunday night of Advent.

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    1. I love that, you having your own Advent time at home, Sandy. We often get caught up in the hustle-bustle, and forget to look around us and take in the best parts of the season.

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  8. I am looking forward to being home for Christmas this year. Last Christmas we were evacuated from our home due to the Camp Fire here in Northern California. We were one of the fortunate ones that had a home to go back to once the evacuation orders were lifted. We have much to be thankful for this year.

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    1. Oh my! That must have been so stressful! I'm glad you were safe, and that you will be home for Christmas this year!

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  9. Such a sweet memory! I think our husbands talked to each other...LOL
    I'm looking forward to reading the Christmas story with our little ones too. We alternate between Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning for Luke's account, depending on how the littles are doing. Lee-Ann B

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    1. Lee-Ann! It's so great that you are establishing these traditions with your littles. Now that our kids are grown, we each take turns reading the Luke account. I love to hear my children read Scripture. It's one of the best things ever.

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  10. For 20 years, l’ve been a member of an a cappella Victorian caroling group, putting in 12-18 hours of singing at different venues. By far the favorite time for all of us is our hour at Teen Challenge, giving our musical gift to young women who are beginning a new life in Christ.

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    1. Oh, Susan, that sounds delightful! What a blessing you are through the Holidays with your singing. Teen Challenge is such a great ministry, changing lives by sharing Jesus in people's darkest hours. Christmas is such a wonderful time to remember and talk about our Savior. I imagine your group is very well received everywhere you go!

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  11. Ever since I was a kid, my father has read Luke Chapter 2 to us. In fact, I think I remember a year that he was stationed in Korea for Christmas when he recorded it on a cassette and sent it to us so we could listen before we opened our presents. Such a sweet memory.

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    1. Glynis, that is such a precious memory! What a good father! Do you still have that cassette? That would be a real treasure!

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  12. Back on December 14,1979, I gave birth to our fifth child. As usual, I headed up the Sunday School Christmas program at our little country church. Earlier in the fall we had shot many slides to portray the blessed story with local actors, including sheep. But one batch of slides did not arrive until Christmas Eve morning. That batch included the nativity scene we had shot inside the barn and sadly, the slides were too dark to even show up on the screen. I was broken, frustrated, wondering what could we do as I sat on my bed, studying the dark slides. A tiny whimper behind me provided the answer...live nativity with a ten-day-old baby! Don't tell me God doesn't care about the "little" details in our lives.

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    1. Awww, Dee, how sweet that you would share your baby with your church family like that! And that you were able to take a frustration and turn it into a blessing! That's a great memory!

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  13. Erica, I love the quietness of the season, the anticipation of the celebration of our Lord Jesus, and the special things we do at church. One highlight is our children's church play. We are a small congregation with just a few kids and the gal who directs it always makes some unique theme each year. You never know what it will be and it's always a hit!

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  14. I can't wait to spend time with my family and remember how blessed we are, that we can hang out with each other and that Jesus would come and save us.

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