Last year, I was pregnant during Advent, which made it much more meaningful for me. I felt the longing expectation deeply, the mystery of the womb hiding the most precious gift. I found myself so present to the Advent season, that I missed out on Christmas! You see, I’m a procrastinator. I’ve been one all my life, and this bad character trait has made me too aware of what the 11th hour is. And my procrastination has created some new ‘traditions’ in our family that I don’t want to keep – decorating the tree on Christmas Eve, sending out Epiphany cards (too late for Christmas), buying all the Christmas gifts on the 23rd and 24th. . . you get the idea. All the warm fuzzy Advent feelings are squashed into oblivion when Christmas rolls around. I feel a sense of relief when Christmas Day is over, and then to top it off, I miss the Christmas season entirely.
I’m kinda missing the point. In a reeaalllly bad way.
This year, I plan on shopping online. (Last one on the boat, that’s me!) This week, I’ll be buying gifts, making cookies, sending cards. BEFORE Advent. If I can accomplish ANY of this, it will be better. I’ve given up trying to beat myself up with perfection. Better is better than perfection is perfect. Gifts are nice, but Jesus is better. Since I’m not disciplined enough to keep Christ in Christmas, I’ll remove everything else so He will be the only thing left. I’m also going to make sure I plan for Christmas, not just Advent. BEFORE either one arrives.
If all goes according to plan, then hopefully I will be open to God’s plan for me – embracing the Infant Jesus in all His majesty, and holding Him all the way through His baptism, then carrying Him out into the world with me, keeping Him in my heart all year long.