Taking a short break from NaNoWriMo to celebrate the first day of ADvent, which according to my prayer book, Celtic Daily Prayer, starts today. Celtic advent is the forty days before Christmas, matching the forty days in the liturgical year of Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter.
From the book: Advent is traditionally a time of preparation for Christmas. It is said that the door to the stable where the Christ-child has been born is very low - only those who kneel find access. being ready for Christmas should mean that our thoughts are focused on not just letters, cards, and presents, but on repentance, humbling and interior 'housecleaning'. John the Baptist warned his hearer to prepare a way for the Lord - to make a clear and level pathway. This involves removing any boulders that stand in the way, and filling in any potholes. The boulders are the things we have done that we should not have done; the potholes are the things we have failed to do which we obviously should have done. The more, as individuals, family or congregation, we are focused in this way, the less we will be overwhelmed by the commercialization of Christmas.
For this advent season, I am reading Forty Days of Living the Jesus Creed, by Scot McKnight, in part because I got it for my birthday and don't want to to save it till spring.
I'm also taking some more steps against the commericalization and frenzy of Christmas by not sending Christmas cards, or gifts outside of small ones for my immediate family. Instead throughout the new year I intend to be more vigilant about remembering people's birthdays (If they want them remembered that is!) And this year I am using the money I would have spent shopping on buying clean drinking water. Everyone should drink more water.
Join me at The Advent Conspiracy!
And now to head off to the city to get some writing done - 31k words and counting :)