Archives For Christmas

Advent Photo-a-Day 2017

olive chan —  November 26, 2017

Advent is a season observed by many Christians as a time of preparation and expectant waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. The term comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” For the last two years, every Advent season, I have followed a list of photo prompts to help me reflect and prepare for Christmas. Many people like to go through a set of readings during Advent but at this stage of life for me, it feels a bit daunting to find time to sit, read, and reflect every day. Having one word to contemplate throughout the day and looking for an image to capture that word allows me to practice Advent in a simple, accessible, and integrated way that flows with the rhythms of my life. This year, I am planning on also involving our daughters in this practice – something I’m really excited about.

The practice of taking one photo a day throughout Advent has enabled me to live with eyes wide open, in both a physical and spiritual sense. In the midst of the hubbub of December, it has allowed me to slow down and be attentive to my life. It has been such a rich practice that I wanted to continue it this Advent. I wasn’t able to find any list of prompts online this year so I created my own.


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The theme for the third week of Advent is Joy. One thing that I’ve thought about this year is the relationship between gratitude and joy. I started off thinking that we are grateful as a result of joy. For example, I have a great family that brings me joy, and because of that, I am grateful. Or my boss just praised me for doing a great job on a recent project which brings me joy, and as a result I feel grateful.

But it seems I may have been mistaken.
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The theme for Advent week 2 is peace. I’ve collected a few quotes about peace to reflect on this coming week.
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The first Sunday of December (which was yesterday) marks the beginning of Advent. Advent is a season observed by many Christians as a time of preparation and expectant waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. The term comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming”.
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[This is an excerpt of our book, “Then Came The Baby“, about the time I fought with my in-laws shortly after Allie was born.]

Before Allie was one week old, I had a big fight with Olive’s parents. They were so angry they wanted to cancel Christmas.

Well, technically no one could cancel Christmas. But they wanted to cancel Christmas with us by changing their plane tickets to fly back to Toronto early.
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Chan family Christmas 2012

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Remember Whose You Are

olive chan —  December 24, 2012 — 5 Comments

“Always wear your invisible crown,” was a quote that caught my eye a while ago. I had seen it floating around Pinterest and I thought it would be a good reminder to hang up in our house. I liked the idea of having a visible prompt to remember my identity as a child of God.
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My Daughter Hates Santa Claus

tim chan —  December 20, 2012 — 2 Comments

It’s official. My daughter hates Santa Claus. My cousin-in-law arrived at the family Christmas party dressed up as Santa (partly at my request). At first Allie was curious, and crawled over to see what the fuss was all about. That curiosity quickly turned into fear, as she quickly started crying.
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As new parents, it’s hard to find a regular babysitter and go out for date nights (like we used to). So we’ve had to use our creativity to find fun things to do on Friday evenings after Allie goes to bed.
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We had some friends visit us on Christmas eve, and one of them asked us, “How is Christmas different with a new born baby?” It was a very good question. Between all the diaper changing, feeding, rocking, laundry, washing, and trying to get as much sleep as possible, I have not had much time to reflect on this question or on Christmas. Over the last few days, in the midst of celebrating Christmas with family, eating great food, and opening gifts, I’ve reflected on this question. Here are a few things I’ve been noticing about having a baby at Christmas.
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