By Carrie Bare and Ann Boyd

Carrie Bare: Advent Is Still Happening in 2020

“I don't think God is gonna say, ‘Well, I'm not doing Christmas this year because of Covid. I'm going to take some time off.'”Carrie Bare

Listen in on our conversation with spiritual director Carrie Bare where we discuss how to celebrate winter holidays and stay spiritually centered in the midst of a remarkably complicated year.

Autumn is drawing to a close, and it's time to talk about Advent. We've had a very full fall. Between real public health threats, complex school arrangements, and a tense presidential election, we’ve needed to access our most adaptable, flexible selves — and we’ve done it rather well, so pat yourself on that back!

We’re now turning our attention to the holidays. What traditions can we cling to? What do we need to let go of this year? And how can we stay deeply connected to Jesus in the midst of it all? In this episode, we talk again with spiritual director Carrie Bare, gleaning from her wise words and her endearing passion for all things Advent and Christmas. I especially appreciate the way Carrie invites us into celebration with a mixture of optimism for the future and grace for our own human limitations. We hope that you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

— Ann Boyd

You can listen on iTunesSpotify, or at All Shall Be Well: Conversations with Women in the Academy and Beyond. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Links mentioned this interview

Thoughts for reflection

  • What invitations and opportunities is the Holy Spirit offering in this kind of Christmas season that are new and that perhaps would benefit us if we paid attention to them?
  • What is getting my time, attention and energy? Is any of that going in the direction of my own spiritual journey?
  • What are the top 3-5 things that make Christmas wonderful for me? 
  • With whom can I pray regularly?
  • "I think in these days, every point of human connection matters." How can you cultivate community at this time? Who might be alone and need a connection point this year?
  • What can I do to celebrate meaningfully this year?

Some of Carrie's favorite things

  • Dulcimer Christmas music
  • hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • listening to Handel's Messiah
  • baking all the cookies
  • The Biola Advent Project — an online devotional series
  • prayer
  • candles
  • reaching out to community and family (especially virtually)
  • looking forward to fully celebrating in 2021


Listen to the other podcasts in this series of three conversations with Carrie Bare.

Photo by Romain Briaux from StockSnap.

About the Author

Carrie Bare is a wife and mother of two grown sons. Though she is permanently based in Spokane, Washington, she is currently dividing her time between Spokane and Boulder. Carrie has been with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1975, currently serving as Associate Director for Spiritual Formation of Faculty. She has always loved reading, especially fiction.

Ann is the Women Scholars and Professionals Podcast host and the interim editor for The Well. She has worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1997, exploring her interests in community, spiritual formation, and writing. Ann has a BM in Music Education from Northwestern University and lives in Chicago, Illinois with one husband, two spunky teenage daughters, and three snuggly cats. You’ll often find Ann baking sweet treats in the kitchen while listening to a podcast or audiobook.

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