It’s that time of year where you find out whether your friends are like this guy…
Or this guy…
And to be quite honest, I’m normally the latter until advent starts, or at least the first sunday after thanksgiving.
But now? it’s December 1. Advent is here and I am totally like Buddy the Elf. It means singing songs about Christmas, watching Love Actually and Elf and The Muppets Christmas Carol on repeat, and hanging up decorations and making paper snowflakes and applesauce christmas ornaments. It’s a time for binge drinking eggnog, baking, and looking for miracles all over the place. It’s a time of anticipation, a time of preparation, a time of enjoying family and serving others.
I was introduced to this concept of Advent Conspiracy last year and I’m sorta in love with it. The concept is instead of spending a ton of money on unnecessary stuff and expensive gifts, keep it simple, and the money you save you donate to make the world better, whether it’s to a charity you admire, or to help the millions without clean water come one step closer by building new wells and providing education for them to keep the water clean. It’s brilliant. It’s helping the world be more awesome.
I also love it because it helps me recenter on the whole reason for the season (sorry for the cliche! I really hate using them…)
Confession time: I deactivated facebook… again. I find myself stressing over stupid stuff and playing the comparison game. It just wasn’t a good situation for me, so I deleted it. For Advent.
Q: Wait… Aren’t you supposed to be giving/getting things for Advent and giving up for lent? Are you confused about your seasons?
A: Traditionally, the answer is yes. But sometimes I like to buck tradition. Also, I think I’m gaining more by being off Facebook that I would be staying on. I’m investing more in intentional relationships, actively seeking to contact those whom I care about and following less about those who I only know peripherally. I’m investing in presence, not presents. It’s a good trade off.
Another confession: I love Advent songs. Songs like “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “Oh Come, O Come, Emanuel!” fill my heart with joy and anticipation. Not only am I anticipating the celebration of Christ’s birth, but also the anticipation of His return (which I waffle on whether i want it today… or way off in the future… Either way, I anticipate the event with excitement and, to be completely honest, a little bit of timidity.)
My Grinchy days are behind me fore this year. And at least until January 6, I’ll stay in the Christmas spirit, and will continue to find ways to spend less on presents and more on presence. Will you join me? Will you turn aside from the mass chaos of Christmas shopping and invest in people?