I have been reading various posts on other blogs about preparing for Advent, reflecting on Advent, and things to do during Advent. There are so many good ideas out there! Several bloggers have followed the practice of choosing a word for Advent to represent what they will focus on during the season. I loved the idea!
I try to do as much with my children during the season of Advent as possible. I notice though, that it kind of feels like we are all over the place, and get stressed trying to fit in every activity and video, then decorating all at once on Christmas Eve while also preparing for the family Christmas gathering that same evening followed by Midnight Mass. When Advent is over I feel relieved. Whew! The stress is over. I don’t want it to be that way! I want to be happy Advent is over because the Christmas season is here. Christ is born!
So after some prayer and reflection, my one word is actually a phrase. Slow Down. Be Present. Enjoy the moment. If we put up the tree one day, then add the lights two days later, that is OK. Everything doesn’t have to be done in one day! Advent is an entire season of preparation! We can slowly prepare over the 4 weeks we have. If my daughter wants me to stop and read her one of our Christmas books, I should take the time to do it, not tell her I’m too busy printing out Advent coloring pages for her to use later.
So this Advent, we will prepare gradually. We will take our time and savor each moment. It will not be perfect. We might not do everything. Our focus is on preparing for Jesus’ arrival in the best way we can. A little each day, done slowly, with love for Christ and one another. This is how we will prepare for the birth of our Savior. This is how we will welcome Christmas with hearts full of love and joy rather than relief!