A Holiday Haiku Challenge - Learning to advent with fewer words


In the hustle-bustle madness of holiday going, I don’t want to just sneak in a little advent –like it’s a noun. Checking it off my list like a Christmas card in the mail, a quick stop at Costco, a pie in the oven. Advent isn't another noun to consume this holiday. I want plenty of time and space these cold December days to advent – like the quietly abiding verb it can be. Pulling away to meditate on the coming of Christ! However, for some, this idea of sitting in the stillness and manufacturing a holy moment seems daunting. "How many words should I read? How many words should I pray? How long should this take?"

Well, while I hope that we learn to listen long, abide ceaselessly, and find refuge in His drawn-out presence, what if we begin with just 17 syllables? The length of a simple haiku.

Here in the midst of our merry making moments this Christmas season, let me challenge you to pull away each day in order to consider some aspect of God's glorious coming - to advent. I will offer you a daily Christmas theme for you to meditate on. Then you get to worshipfully work at narrowing it down 'til you arrive at its very essence. Boil it on the fiery stovetop of your heart and mind until you get a fragrant and flavorful reduction offering. 

That's the art of the haiku... discovering the essence of a thing in 17 syllables.

And so, throughout the month of December I’m hosting a holiday haiku challenge. I’ve invited other writers to advent with me each day in quiet community, and I want you to pick up your pen and join us. The emphasis will be on God’s glory, not on our going-going-going. And isn’t that the true challenge of Christmas? Slowing down... to worship... Him.

The title of the series (and my first haiku) is A Holiday Haiku: Fewer Words.



Day one: Incarnation - by Bethany Hockenbury

Day two: Advent Light - by Michelle DeRusha

Day three: Christmas Cookies

Day four: Strands of Christmas Lights - by Julie Kieras

Day five: The Fragrance of Christmas - by Mandy Mianecki

Day six: Be Still and Know - by Cathi Speake

Day 7:  Make Room - by Elise Hurd

Day 8: John 3:16

Day 9: Silent Night - by Colleen Mitchell

Day 10Mary - by Becky Keife

Day 11Lamb of God - by Angie Mosteller

Day 12: Adoration - by Susan Shipe

Day 13Christmas Traditions

Day 14: Herod - by Kelli Stuart

Day 15: Search me O God this Christmastime - by Katie M. Reid

Day 16: Jesus was a Child - by Angie Mosteller

Day 17: Christmas Carols - by Alle McCloskey

Day 18: Christmas Hospitality - by Kris Camealy

Day 19: Angels We Have Heard on High

Day 20: Emmanuel - by Tara Ulrich

Day 21: Contented Christmas - by Amber Lia

Day 22: The Shepherds - by Gayl Write

Day 23Christmas Presents

Day 24Salvation


Now pick up your pen and join the fun...

17 syllables. That’s it.

17 syllables each day to point our hearts back to Christ this Christmas.

17 syllables broken into 3 lines. The first holds 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third line wraps it up with another 5. 

17 syllables remind me of these lyrics:


let my words be few


Each day you holds a new writing prompt  - one word, a short phrase, a lyric, Christmas character, or a scripture reference to inspire your Haiku. Then advent with the Lord as you type out your worshipful response. Leave your poem in the comment thread, or share it on Instagram #holidayhaiku.