The forgotten season: Advent

The urge to want to be like everyone else is strong this time of year for me. I wish we had more Christmas decorations in our house, and I wish I could just run out and buy a bunch of ingredients and spend the next two days baking every cookie and yummy bread under the sun. Oh, Christmas why must you torment me so?

We are now in the third week of Advent, and maybe it’s because I’m pregnant (Yes!!!), but I have become more obsessed with having the house look nice and feel cozy. How do I get us ready for Christmas without breaking the bank? Simple. Don’t buy anything. 🙂

Ben and I have been doing some crafts and I made a small nativity set out of pipe cleaners. They aren’t perfect, but they help to quench the Christmas bug without breaking the bank, especially because we already owned the craft supplies that we needed.

What this whole experience made me realize was that it’s so easy for us to get caught up with preparing for Christmas day with decorations and food and gifts that we forget all about Advent! A time not only to prepare our homes for the Christmas season, but also to prepare ourselves. A time for personal growth, to become more generous, more kind, more compassionate, not only during the time before Christmas day, but to make a change that lasts for the rest of your life. A countdown to Christmas is easy, but it’s when you really dig deep and force yourself to grow that’s when things get more challenging.

Just remember baby steps!

It seems like Christmas time is the time of year when the world remembers that it’s a good thing to give to those in need. Then, when the season fades, the spirit of giving seems to fade with it, even though the homeless and needy are with us all year round. So I would encourage you to allow this “Season of Giving” to not stop after the decorations are put away, and after the snow starts to melt. But to really get into the habit of generosity to those who might not have enough.

It is also really important during Advent to take the time to grow spiritually. Going to mass more than once a week, praying throughout the day, and before meals are all important things that help us grow closer to God. It can be hard to form new habits, so try not to overload yourself with an unreasonable amount of goals for growth, but it’s important to not let this part of Advent slip by unaddressed. Pick one or two areas where you feel called to growth this Advent and let those things change you and remain with you even once the season is gone.

So, Happy Advent and I hope that you all are having a wonderful time preparing for the Christmas Season and New Years. Now please can I make some Christmas cookies??