I have a beautiful Christmas card at home that I kept from last year. The cover depicts the night sky in a majestic shade of blue, with the travels of the three wise men toward the Christ child. I kept it because it was such a wonderful portrayal of Christmas—the anticipation of the wise men, the subtle beauty of the night, the birth of Jesus and how we are all called to follow him.
It’s nothing like the reality of right now, in which every one of my senses is bombarded with Christmas so much so that there is no time for peaceful reflection. If you are like me, this time of year can be very stressful with all of the holiday customs that take place—the Christmas shopping, decorating, wrapping of presents, writing of cards, etc., almost takes over my life.
December 1 marked the beginning of Advent, a time of year where we are asked to get ready for the coming birth of Jesus. But, only two days into Advent, and I’m already feeling like my mind is focusing on the wrong types of things.
However, I hope to make some changes to how I spend my time leading up to Christmas—both with the material planning, and, more importantly, with my spiritual preparations.
This year, I decided to take it easy with the decorating. Most of my Christmas decorations remain in their boxes in storage. Just a few things have been taken out—a nativity statue, my collection of nutcracker soldiers, and a few small snowmen. I’ve tried to tone it down because sometimes there are just too many distractions and activities that take away from what this time of the year is all about—Jesus.
I’m hoping to spend some quiet time each night—even if it’s just a minute, in prayer.
How do you celebrate Advent? Please share as it might inspire others!