I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mark got a flight home at the last minute and we decided to surprise the kids. It was such a treat to bring them to the airport, thinking we were picking up our cousin from New York, to find their dad standing there instead. We scooped him up on Thursday morning and headed straight for his parents' house in Baton Rouge. We spent the entire holiday there. And I do mean, ENTIRE. We even managed to squeeze in dinner on Sunday night before heading back. After several days and nights of eating, visiting, movie-going (Tangled was great.) and football watching (thanks Saints for defeating the Cowboys), I was happy to come home and get back to a routine. A routine which, at this time of the year, includes celebrating Advent and preparing for Christmas.
Every year I say that it seems they are starting with Christmas earlier and earlier but it is getting ridiculous. This year I was absolutely floored to hear Christmas music on the radio BEFORE Thanksgiving! Have they no shame?! Confession time: The song was that John Lennon song "So this is Christmas" or "Happy Christmas". Either way, it is one of my favorites. I have to confess that I did pause and even ask the kids for reinforcement by announcing, "We can't actually listen to this now, right?" The answer very emphatically was, "RIGHT!".
The weekend before, I had read an article about celebrating Advent and how our popular, secular, mall-crazy, consumer-driven culture really makes it a challenge. True. So, I am on a crusade to hold off Christmas as long as possible. Right? Well, maybe. I love the tradition of the Advent wreath and so do the kids. I love getting out the empty manger. It makes Advent real for the kids. It paints a picture of exactly what Advent is, a time to wait joyfully and patiently on Baby Jesus. However... that darn Christmas music keeps playing on every station. Lights are twinkling all over the neighborhood. Friends are posting on Facebook that their tree is up and everything is done. (Yes, dear reader, you know who you are. :-) All the sparkle and the glitter has my head spinning. It's drawing me in and it is STILL November, mind you! What's a girl to do? Well, I could start by actually lighting the Advent wreath, couldn't I? I promise I will... tomorrow. Then out will come the manger and I will prepare for Christmas taking my own sweet time.
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I haven't talked about it on the blog but just before Mark took this job in DC, I had decided to try another home-based business. Long story short, I love it and have been having so much fun selling it. It is a nice outlet. I get to talk to adults and pretend to be a grown-up a few nights/days a month. What a treat. Seriously, it has been a blessing and I am amazed at how much I have grown as a person. I have achieved all but one of the goals I set for myself. This month I have a big goal so I am letting you know about it. The products are great and reasonably priced- tote bags, purses, accessories. Please check it out.
So, I guess what I figured out in this Advent/Christmas preparation debate I had with myself is this:
“Advent: the time to listen for footsteps - you can't hear footsteps when you're running yourself.” Bill McKibben
I will try to walk quietly through this season in hopes that I hear His footsteps. Hoping your Advent season is meaningful.