For weeks now the kids have been reminding me about the arrival of Advent. Sometimes they’re subtle – “I can’t wait to be St. Lucy this year. During Advent.” and “Maybe we should make a schedule for who gets to open things like the books, and the bags, and the calendar. I love the calendar.” – and sometimes they’ve been blunt – “Mom. Have you worked on Advent.”
Yeesh. I get it!
I have been bogged down with immediate needs and haven’t desired or allowed my mind to travel down the road to Christmas. But then Fr. Dillon gave a beautiful and rousing homily to kick off the season and it was just the “Pull yourself together!” that I needed.
So what if the kids lost another chunk of faith in their mom when they woke to find no wrapped book or treat or calendar? Each moment is a fresh beginning! And we’ve got 24 more days to go. I’m praying we can make a full recovery.
My first step, in order to make restitution for my grinchy ways, is to share some of my favorite ways we celebrate the season. Because sharing is caring!
1. Remember it isn’t Christmas. . . YET
This is the season of longing and waiting. We like to build anticipation and excitement. The tree doesn’t get decorated completely and we don’t bust out the red and green for a few more weeks. Which brings me to this:
2. Enter into the liturgical season
It’s purple! Go all out and see how it feels to deck the halls with that as opposed to rojo and verde. We use purple because this is a time of penance – just like Lent.
3. Sacrifice is fun!
Speaking of Lent . . . Fasting helps us strip away the excess, the unnecessary, the cumbersome. It helps us realign and recalibrate so we can focus on the Sustainer. It is hard, yes, to fast from cookies and cocoa and peppermint anything (come to mama!) when it’s ev-er-y-where. But what about adding something? Or waking up early (on my list!)? Or taking more time for silence?
4. Can the carols
Ooorrr . . . You can fast from Christmas music. Now, of course, you can’t go anywhere without hearing Christmas carols and by all means don’t act like my children who fear for their salvation when Joy to the World is blaring in Safeway. I mean at home. In the car. On your run play list. Wait for the holly, jolly tunes for the 12 days of Christmas, or, in the tradition of some of the Huron Jesuit missions, play them up until Easter. But in these few weeks, sample the great Advent songs. This is my spotify list. When I turned it on for our decorating on Sunday the kids greeted each tune like a long lost friend.
5. Prepare the way of the Lord
Are you a long lost friend of God’s? I’ve been feeling that way as of late. Take Advent to juice your prayer life (or create one!), read scriptures – this site has the readings of the day. Good stuff. – go to Confession. It’s all about getting the space ready for the coming of the King. Clean it out and spiff it up!
Really, I’m just preaching to myself, giving the pep talk my weary, worn-out heart needs. Let’s do this season right. And together would be pretty sweet. Happy Advent!
Lucy was super helpful in the set up process.