I know, I know. The decorations have been in the stores since October. Carols were on the radio while our Jack o lanterns were still on the porch. If your neighborhood is anything like mine, it is filled with giant inflatable Santas and millions of tiny twinkling lights.
It might look like Christmas, but it’s not.
We live in a world that’s focused on the next party – so much so that we forget how to live in the moment. And in this moment, it’s Advent, not Christmas. (Not that all those things are authentically “Christmas,” but that’s another story.)
I used to find it enormously challenging to celebrate Advent properly. Most people I know put up their Christmas trees soon after Thanksgiving (and some even before.)
Not one but two Detroit radio stations have been playing Christmas tunes since the beginning of November. And all the really good sales are probably already over.
But at my house – it’s not Christmas yet.
We celebrate Advent with a simple wreath with three purple candles and a rose one. Most evenings, the boys fight over whose turn it is to light it, and we sing a really bad rendition of “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”
It’s simple, and it’s pretty sweet.
I really wish we could all take the time to celebrate a proper Advent, one in which we took the time to reflect on Christ’s coming. I wish we could hold off on Christmas just a bit. I love all the trimmings that come with the celebration, but truthfully, they don’t always make for spiritual growth. That happens best with silence and simplicity.
I’m no Grinch, and I don’t want to give up a single fun thing about Christmas. But if I can remember Advent, I think my Christmas will be the best one yet.
How do YOU celebrate Advent?