It was so beautiful this past weekend, I almost forgot it is November…until I looked at my mail. I received a multi-paged ad featuring the Christmas toy selection at a national chain store.
Of course, we have come to expect this. On November first, the Halloween items are priced for the clearance racks and the Christmas stuff starts appearing in the stores. Christmas season has begun. With the exception of a big meal, some football and a parade, Thanks-giving is sort of skipped.
It just feels so wrong. October had strange weather that I guess my whole body calendar is just thrown off kilter. I’m just not ready to face the Christmas holiday season.
Luckily, most Christian churches have a solution. It’s called Advent. It’s the season before Christmas. Advent is a time for Christians to prepare their hearts and minds for celebrating the arrival of their God-made-human, Jesus.
Not everyone who celebrates Christmas is Christian. In the United States, Christmas is a government holiday and a commercial holiday as well as a religious observance.
While the commercial build up to Christmas is bright flashy and loud, the Advent season is peaceful, reflective and prayerful.
Religious or not, I think we can all learn something from the observance of Advent. We can all learn to take a few minutes each night to light a candle, quiet ourselves and think.
When I say think, I don’t mean you need to start worrying about how many people you need to buy gifts for, or what picture you will put in the annual card.
Quietly reflect on how blessed you are to have pie and cranberries and the people who send you cards. Remember that you live in a land in which you may choose to celebrate or not celebrate as you please. Meditate on the beauty you saw today.
Think about how you can extend “giving thanks” to more than just one day a year.