The best time of the year

Advent is my favorite liturgical season.  I’m actually not a big fan of Christmas, and I think that makes it easier for me to live in the moment of anticipation.  6 year old asks me, “can you not wait for Christmas, Mama?” and I’m like, “Nah, I’m cool.”  I savor the 3 or 4 weeks before Christmas, drink in all the decor, traditions, music, and lack of presents (yeah, I’m weird, I don’t like presents-they make me very uncomfortable).  I try to get all my Christmas shopping done before Advent so I’m not a big stressball during my favorite time of year.  So I can be where I am and when I am (totally failed at that this year, btw, and am now a big stressball).

Today was the first day of Advent.  It was chaotic.  This weekend was chaotic.  I’m feeling tired and grumpy and there are chores staring me in the face and it feels like my whole environment is yelling at me.  So I’m choosing to sit down and write a blog post, and read a few pages of this book, and tell the dirty high chair tray a few inches from my face to just chill out a minute.  Because running from chore to chore to chore isn’t working.  I’m not getting caught up and I’m not feeling peace.

You know what’s weird? Advent is my favorite time of the year, and it is simultaneously the busiest, most full of movement and commitments and awkward communications and unpleasant things hanging over my head (cough cough Christmas shopping). But despite all that movement and swirling and time moving way too fast, I find a way to love it. I can’t help loving it. Our house feels cozy and homey when the nativity set and the Advent calendar and the Advent wreath and all our other little traditions and decorations come out. Our family feels alive and growing when we listen to Advent music together or the kids fight over who’s going to blow out the candles tonight (got that one figured out, btw-we make a schedule and write it out on our calendar to preclude any disputes). It feels like we are living out our mission a little bit more each year as our family returns a little older, and sometimes a little bigger to this familiar season.

I wonder how I can capture that feeling, and more fundamentally, that reality, during the rest of the year.






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