About the Author

At (in)courage, we empower women to be like Jesus. Our writers share what’s going on in their life and how God’s right in the middle of it. They bring their joys & struggles so that you can feel less alone and be empowered by the hope Jesus gives.

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things we love
& you will too!
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  1. (in)courage,
    I thoroughly enjoyed the 21 Days of Gratitude reading plan and signed right up for the Promises of Christmas plan. My favorite Advent tradition is reading Ann Voskamp’s “The Greatest Gift” devotional beginning Dec. 1 and hanging the ornaments on my Jesse Tree. It slows me down to be present in each and every day leading up to Christ’s birth and it focuses my heart on His coming again. It’s like my own spiritual pilgrimage that my husband and I share together. Now, I’ll add the Promises of Christmas – double the joy. Thank you…
    Bev xx

  2. My favorite Christmas tradition is our family pancakes and pajamas breakfast. The first Saturday in December we come together in our PJ’s and welcome the season with food, fun, and family. I am looking foward to The 25 days of Christmas Promises to this advent season.

  3. Advent…I just love this season as we take time each Sunday morning with our Church family looking forward to Christ’s birth. Such a sweet reflective time, that God did not just leave us here alone in the darkness, but rather loves us so much that He sent Christ to be With Us and bring us light and HOPE.

  4. My favorite Christmas tradition is being asked to light the Advent candle in church during the 4 weeks. My partner and I did this for the first Sunday of Advent back in 2013. Unfortunately on December 22 Joseph died by suicide. The memory is is forever lasting. We always enjoyed doing this even in years past with my children and still consider it a joy to be asked. It actually has become a comfort & blessing to me.

  5. I was excited to see the devotional! I’ve been enjoying your daily devotions!
    So many favorite traditions! I think my favorite has to be decorating the xmas tree. My mom always made a big deal about it and we each had our own special box of ornaments!

  6. I am so looking forward to this time of just abiding with God during such a busy season. I truly want to have a more simple and Christ-focused atmosphere in my heart and home. Thank you for doing this!

  7. I don’t have Facebook or Instagram have my reason for not having them. Do you have to have them to get the Scripture pictures in December. If so that is ok. I don’t mind doing without them. Just it would have been nice to have got them. I was wondering if you lovely people could email them to my email address. I don’t have a copy of the incourage womans Bible. Because you can only get it on Amazon in am American Dollars. Where I live in Enniskillen Co.Fermanagh N.Ireland it Pounds £. Any way if I could enter the compation I would not want to enter it. As I want you lovely people to give the Bible to someone women who got saved and could not afford to buy herself a new Bible. If I could by myself an incourage women Bible I would so. Through December I will doing the 25days with my ordinary. NIV Bible. I do hope that is ok. Don’t worry if you lovely people can’t email me tje pictures. Or if you guys are buys. That is ok. Love Prayers and God Bless Dawn Ferguson-Little xxxxxx

  8. My favorite Advent tradition is having only my study decorated entirely for Christmas by December 1. In this room I surround myself with all things Jesus! Nativity, books, framed prints and sayings, ornaments of Mary, Jesus and the Cross, Angels and lights. Itbis in this room where I do my bible study and read my daily devotions. It is in this room where I escape to slow down, regroup and remember the true meaning or Christmas. Being in the middle of this room feels like being a warm hug from Jesus.

  9. My favorite Christmas tradition is being with my family. Being together is all that matters.

  10. The only advent tradition that I really remember growing up was the chocolate calendar. It’s still a favorite! I’m looking forward to growing traditions with my young daughter.

  11. I love decorating the sanctuary at church for Advent – everyone working together to prepare for The Christmas Season. It is a great time of fellowship and fun and worship, too!

  12. Our favorite Christmas tradition had to be our Christmas Eve celebration. First we feast – all finger foods, so fun. Then we share some simple Christmas reflections, ending with a Christmas Eve boxes. New jammies and a book. I started it as a way to help my children pass the evening, helping them wind down, but now that they are adults, we look forward even more to that new book to curl up with.

  13. My favorite advent tradition is sitting in the quiet early morning hours looking at the lights of Christmas and spending time worshipping God ❤️

  14. My favorite Christmas tradition is the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. It’s when I’m finally able to relax and soak up the real meaning of the season and focus on the birth of my Savior.

  15. My favorite Christmas tradition is attending the Christmas Eve service at my church. It is my time to celebrate with my church family, by singing, lighting candles and praising our Lord.

  16. My favorite advent tradition is reading Ann Voskamp’s “The Greatest Gift” devotional. Last year was my first year reading it and I’m throughly looking forward to reading it again this year.

  17. We exchange a small gift on December 1. It was a tradition started by my parents when I was a baby and co tongues in with my own child. It marks the start of the Christmas season for us every year.

  18. Thank you for providing this and the gratitude devotionals. Our favorite family Advent tradition is reading The Wonder of the Greatest Gift (Ann Voskamp) each evening together as a family and putting the ornament on the beautiful tree.

  19. I love to learn about Jesus birth every day in the month of December before the Christmas Day! I’m very excited for this reading plan!

  20. Favorite ‘tradition’ is reading a chapter a day, starting December 1st, of the book of Luke. Thank you for this opportunity!

  21. I am a midwife and I am in awe of the birth story. What a humble way to begin- naked and helpless. Nothing is stronger than a baby’s first cry. Each year I picture Mary in labour and scared, but putting her faith in her role. How amazing it all is! So each year I look deep into the eyes of a new baby and wonder what Mary thought as she stoked the brow of Jesus as a baby and then again as the saviour coming down from the cross. God IS with us. Come Emmanuel!

  22. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is hanging a 4’ high lighted cross on our garage that my husband fashioned out of 2×4’s and Christmas lights! Amid all the other joyful outdoor decorations, it is a beautiful reminder of the true reason for the season!

  23. Every Christmas Eve I go to church to be with my church family. We sing and pray and have potluck desserts afterwards. That is my favourite Christmas tradition.

  24. Growing up we lit an Advent candle and had a special Advent time EVERY night during the Advent Season. My parents really wanted us to know the true meaning of the Christmas season. Now, as an adult, I don’t do it every night but invite different friends over each Sunday in Advent to light the next candle on the Advent wreath and have a special Advent time together. I feel like I am continuing the tradition this way! (And my dad hand-carved me a copy of our wooden Advent wreath growing up so I have that too)

  25. My favorite Christmas tradition is being surrounded by family and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, We’ve been doing that since I was a child now I do it with my children

  26. We moved to Arizona from Virginia in December, signed the papers on our house on the 23rd, and the entire day of Christmas eve was a flurry of unpacking and making order so the kids would feel ‘normal’ on Christmas morning. Christmas eve dinner happened at In and Out Burgers, one of the only places still open that night. Coming from the East Coast, we’d never had In and Out before. It was delicious, and we were relieved to sit together, laughing. In and Out Burgers became our Christmas eve tradition. This year will be our 9th year 🙂

  27. When my son was in first grade, the Polar Express came out in theaters. We went with him and his class to see the movie. It was awesome, all the kids were in were in their jammies. Ever since the, 15 years later, it has been a tradition to watch the movie as a family. My son is now 22 years old. I love this time as a family. Thank you for all you do.

  28. I look forward to an advent study each year for myself and I present advent calendars for my grandchildren each year. Thank you for offering your studies throughout the seasons.

  29. I love re-reading the Liz Higgs book on Women of Christmas every year! Our women’s ministry read it together one year during Advent and I just continued. Come to think of it, I should order copies for my small group…

  30. My new favorite (past 8 years) is Christmas Eve service. I love seeing the church so filled up and the lighting of the candles. Praise God.

  31. I’m a fairly new Christian and the only one in my family. I’m still making my traditions. I’m excited for the Advent devotionals.

  32. One of my favorite traditions is the grandkids helping decorate the tree. They have many ornaments on my tree that I’ve bought over the years, so they especially enjoy putting those on. This year my two oldest grands are home to visit from Cambodia, so this year is extra exciting! Today is the day, so I’m breaking out the hot chocolate and cookies too. Wish my two out-of-state girlies could be here, 1 and 4 year olds. But the other 6 girls (3 yr -15 yr. olds) will definitely keep it lively! Of course when they go home, hubby and I will enjoy the peace and quiet, the lights and the chance to put our feet up and reflect on the many blessings God shares with us year round!

  33. My two favorite Christmas traditions are:
    1. Doing Advent calendars ~ thankful that my mother in law started that with our two oldest children when they were little ~ almost 40 years ago; and now my hubby and I do Ann Voskamp’s every year (and I’ve gotten all of Ann’s iterations for the grandchildren)
    2. Attending the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service every year with the family (or as many as can make it now that the six kids are all adults and scattered around the country, and there are 4 grandchildren). I’ve always loved these traditions for the way they help us to focus on the first “Advent” of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 🙂 Blessings, Kay

  34. We’ve never really observed Advent but I’d like to get some ideas. Our kids are all grown & on their own, & we don’t have any grandkids yet. But I’d like to get my heart & mind focused on Christ’s birth instead of all the other things swirling around me.

  35. My favorite Christmas tradition is attending the Christmas Eve service at my church. I have only been a Christian for a few years, and before Christmas was always a very material holiday. Yes, it also meant spending time with family, which I have always loved. But it wasn’t until I became a Christian 5 years ago that the holiday took on a whole new meaning for me. Even though my husband and son don’t attend the Christmas Eve service with me (or any service), it has become the one event during the season that really gives me a sense of the holiday, the beauty, the meaning, the importance. It is a celebration and a moment of reverence all at once…and I adore it!

  36. On Christmas Eve we always have a service at church where all the children from church have sections from the Bible that they recite and a Christmas song they sing. It is something I have missed the past few years due to work but now, with my new position, I am able to go now. So exciting! After the service, we come back home and get out all of our Christmas eats and my mom serves 4 different kind of soups that we eat this night and over several weeks later. This year we may drive around looking at Christmas lights since our gift opening will be another day. We end the night watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Then we attend the Christmas day service in the morning.

  37. We’re just beginning traditions with our 19 month old twins, but one of the ones from my childhood that I treasured the most was cutting down our own tree in the mountains of Northern California, playing Christmas music, and decorating it as a family. We plan to continue that tradition with our own children, and we are adding ones like opening a wrapped Christmas book each day of advent.

  38. My favorite Christmas tradition is spending Christmas Eve with my family and then going to our church Christmas Eve service. It makes Christmas real.

  39. This year I will bring back a childhood Christmas tradition of cutting a cedar tree from our timber land on my early December birthday and celebrating the Advent each day leading up to Christmas by adding ornaments, singing carols, and reciting Bible verses that tell the Advent story.

  40. My favourite christmas tradition is attending handels messiah the singalong. The whole audience is divided up by alto, tenor, bass etc.. and we all sing the parts together with the choir on stage. The room is filled with christians and non christians all praising the new born king together … so much energy and holy spirit there. Its amazing..

  41. One of my face family traditions is on Christmas eve. We.order Chinese take out and hang out and stay up late.together. Then in the morning when we wake up my hubby cooks everyone a.huge breakfast. Being with family and remembering the reason form the season is most important to me. thank you for the seasonal devotionals that go with the bible. I bought it electronically and would love a hard copy thanks for chance to win!

  42. My favorite part is setting up our nativity set. Each piece is so meaningful as I imagine what it would have been like to be there to see the Baby Jesus. We are farmers, so to know that the shepherds/farmers were the first to hear is just amazing! 😉

  43. The best of advent is spending time reading bible stories with our grandchildren. Love Christmas Eve church when the children sing to the audience.! It’s the best! Looking forward to your devotional: thank you

  44. We have many traditions, but some years hardly any. Some years were, are, harder to find them. Some simple ones, having my Nutcrackers out. A few of my own, but one for every member of the family. Adding them as marriages and births happen. Upgrading the grands as they age.
    Other traditions are Cinnamon rolls and eggs casserole for Christmas morning.
    My favorite one though is reading one of Arnold Ytreeide’s Advent books. Alas, my kids are mostly out of the house so that may not be one we do this year or again.
    Awesome giveaway!!

  45. For many years I organised a Christmas Eve Carol singing by the youth (and parents) in our church. to sing outside the homes of our older parishioners. We had fruit cake and fruit punch in our front garden for a half-way revival, and we asked everyone in our street to join us on our verandah, Some came. This eventually stopped when our Church started a carol service in the hall on Christmas Eve with a childen’s Christmas play.
    Initially on the back of a truck with wire fencing around and hay bales to sit on, then later in a convoy of cars. (Some people tried to give us money, but we gently refused to accept it.)

  46. Our favorit christmas tradition is the baking of christmas cookies in all forms and shapes…for my children the scent of the cookies in the house is the starting signal of the Advent period 🙂

  47. My Favorite tradition is the placing of baby Jesus in the stable of our Nativity set at 12 midnight Christmas eve!

  48. One of my favourite things at Christmastime is being home with family, playing games, and simply enjoying being together! Also decorating the Christmas tree together- we have a unique ornaments that mark each year and hold special meaning- memories from that year. It’s my way to remember God’s faithfulness!

  49. I love driving around looking at Christmas lights with my family while listening to Christmas music playing in the vehicle. Fun family time.

  50. Hello thanks for your Ministry! My Mom passed away Oct. 2016 and
    In her memory I placed a Memory
    Christmas Bulb in her name that our town made a available for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one. So every December 1st
    We go as a family to see the Tree and bulbs light up at the start at the Christmas Season . It offers comfort and I know She is in Heaven with Our Lord but this is a way to remember her during this Season.
    A new Christmas tradition

  51. My favorite Advent tradition is reading scripture, and filling in an Advent calendar daily with my daughter. She’s 3 now and starting to understand the meaning behind it all!

  52. I enjoyed every plan that you posted. 21 days of gratitude was amazing AND now this. I love christmas and my traditión now Is reading the Bible and the story of Jesús. I Love the OBS of Ann Voskamp and enjoy the christmas fest at the church AND share with my family AND friends. Thanks incourage!

  53. Since my childhood we have always attended and/or been in our churches Christmas Program. Every Christmas Eve my mother would gather us around and reading the scriptural account of Jesus birth from the book of Luke. She always made it clear she was not reading a “story”, a true world event.
    My husband grew up with very similar traditions. We continued these events with our children.
    I have a desperate prayer request. Two of my three adult children have become very jaded about Americanized Corporate Christianity. They will not attend worship with us and are now proclaiming they are leaning more to atheistic idealism.
    This year we plan on combating that pain by attending as many Christmas Worship Programs as we are able all around our area! Blessings to all in your celebrations of HIM!

  54. Christmas is the best time of year (minus the cold temps in IL… 😉 One of our favorite traditions is getting hot chocolate, loading the kids up in the car and looking at Christmas lights. I feel like a little kid again, and I love hearing my boys’ reactions. 🙂

  55. On Christmas Eve we attend a candle light church service and sing all the Christmas hymns I grew up singing. It is so special to share this tradition with my children.

  56. My favorite Christmas tradition is picking a yearly ornament for our Christmas tree. It reminds me of how many years my husband and I have been together and each ornament symbolizes a significant event that happened earlier in the year.

  57. Favourite Christmas tradition is when we put up our Christmas tree and begin decorating it (and the whole house!) when we decorate it, the ornaments have sentimental values and/stories so we would share those moments to everyone who will be a part of our Christmas Party! We would also reflect the birth of Jesus!!

    Before opening gifts, we would have a feast right after the clock strikes 12:00am Dec 25th.

  58. My favorite Christmas tradition started when we had our second child. We would set up our Christmas tree with only the lights. Then that night, we would sit by the tree and in the dark with only the lights of tree and we would sing a Christmas song and say a prayer. Later in the week we would then put the ornaments on the tree, but this night was solemn. We now have 3 children and our first about to graduate from high school. We still continue to share in that tradition. It is something I look forward to every year. Even in all the busyness of the Advent season, we make it a priority to keep the real meaning of Christmas in our Christmas season.