I realize not all those who ready my blog will observe Advent, the weeks leading up to Christmas. But if you celebration Christmas, then even without Advent, those weeks between Thanksgiving and December 25 can be full of lots of extra ctivity. And with that activity can come some pitfalls that can seriously derail the Season’s joy.
One of the most obvious pitfalls is being too busy. Yes, there’s finite time for infinite activity – but that’s not the point. The point of Advent and non-Advent-but-still-weeks-before-Christmas is to take time to go more slowly, to allow breathing room, to prepare inside and out for a beautiful Christmas.
Another pitfall is that, with a too-full schedule and stretched budget, we might spend ourselves, well, silly. Yes, we can do serious damage to the budgets of Christmases to come in these few days of December. But we don’t have to. Another point of Advent is that the focus can and should be more on relationships with others, time spent in fellowship, in mending past hurts, and in showing love and appreciation for the human gifts God has given us.
A third pitfall of Advent is that we get caught up in the societal hype around Christmas and forget the roots of the Season, the reason for our celebration. I love that, in Advent, I revisit Luke’s gospel and other narratives of faith, and I always try to learn something new. This time taken in soaking up history helps innoculate me against the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” all around me. Not that the jingles and bells aren’t nice, but I truly enjoy having this time to deepen my faith.
A safe journey through Advent is one that allows time for loved ones, for deepening faith, and for breathing in cooler (perhaps), reviving air that cleanses us and prepares us for the celebration and New Year ahead.
Whether or not you commemorate Advent, I hope that your time between now and Christmas is a safe journey, refreshing, loving, and bright!