Let’s hear top 5 tips from Dave and Debbie Cowden – fellow homeschoolers and the authors of The Prayer Book for Tired Parents: Practical Ways to Grow in Love of God and Get Your Family to Heaven.
There are many things in life we cannot control, but when it comes to preparing for the Advent and Christmas seasons, there is plenty we CAN anticipate and “control,” to a degree. After all, we know that Christmas is going to fall on December 25 every year, so there’s no reason it should sneak up on us!
If you’re looking for ways to keep the peace and minimize stress this time of year, here are some tips:
Do your shopping and card-writing early. The sooner these necessary tasks are finished, the sooner they’re off your mind. Write out your budget, purchase and wrap the gifts, address the Christmas cards (even if you plan to wait to send them). Procrastinating rarely ends well here.
Organize and guard your schedule. There tend to be many events, activities, and parties this time of year. Set realistic expectations for what your family can handle, and recognize that it’s OK to decline invitations and forego festivities if it will be too much for your kids – or for you!
Focus on the faith. It’s too easy for the liturgical season of Advent to get lost in the commercial and secular elements of the Christmas shopping season. Depending on your kids’ ages, make a point of incorporating a devotion into your day – the Advent wreath, Jesse Tree, daily Advent calendar, St. Andrew’s Christmas Anticipation Novena, and so on. Don’t try to do ALL of these – pick one or two and do them well.
Give alms. There are countless ways to do this. Discuss as a family the ways you’ll serve your community, from donating directly to charitable organizations or missions to purchasing gifts from your parish’s “give-a-Christmas” tree. Give back in gratitude for all of God’s blessings in your life.
REALLY make Jesus the “Reason for the Season.” How often is your family going to Daily Mass? Eucharistic Adoration? Praying the Rosary together? Adjust your schedule to allow your family to worship the Lord more together. As we joyfully await His coming, commit as a family to spending more time in the presence of Jesus, the King of Kings, the Savior of the World!
For more practical ways to grow in holiness as a family throughout the year, find The Prayer Book for Tired Parents at ewtnRC.com, SophiaInstitute.com, Amazon, or get a personalized copy from the Cowdens at TiredCatholicParents.com
- Relatable, humorous insight from fellow “tired parents”
- Wisdom from the saints and EWTN Foundress Mother Angelica
- Realistic tips for establishing and maintaining prayer routines as a family
- Over 30 prayers to patron saints, composed for tired parents
- Reflection questions, workbook sections and family prayer journal included
- Endorsed by Paola Ciskanik, Founder of the Catholic Homeschool Community!
*** This article is just one of the beautiful and wise articles you will find in this year’s Advent and Christmas Guide.
About David and Debbie:
David and Debbie Cowden are the authors of “The Prayer Book for Tired Parents: Practical Ways to Grow in Love of God and Get Your Family to Heaven” (EWTN Publishing, 2022). Debbie has worked at EWTN Global Catholic Network for the past decade as a TV producer and Senior Digital Media Specialist, and is known for her hosting of EWTN Religious Catalogue and The Catholic Sphere, and co-hosting EWTN’s live coverage of the March for Life. David works in healthcare and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus. They are in their fourth year of homeschooling, and look forward to welcoming their fourth child in October. Their mission is to help other Catholic parents reorient their lives toward God; joyfully raise their children in the faith; and experience God’s peace in their homes.