The thought occurred to me at some point during the week that I really should be considering Christmas decorations soon. I suppose it came up because I started seeing trees and stockings up around the workplace of the day job, and I started thinking about where the tree and so forth is in our storage closet. With adding our daughter to the family and recovering from Thanksgiving travels (I was oddly jet-lagged this year), I simply haven’t devoted much consideration to the fact that the Christmas holiday is really only days away.
Now begins the series of loose traditions that we tend to keep this time of year: watching a few movies, listening to Christmas jazz and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, planning family visits, and so forth. I’ve decided to put up lights and our tree tonight, and we attended a mid-week service for the first week of Advent this week.
And, as its the first week of Advent (very nearly the second as I write this), I think that this is a perfectly good time to begin these festivities.
What I haven’t given much thought to is gifts. We’ve picked up a couple here and there, and my parents have asked us for our list. I’ve thought of the family members to which we ship gifts each year. I just really haven’t felt the pressure to rush out and buy things and send them off. I’m intentionally trying to keep it at bay, as well as my desire to receive any gifts beyond some simple things, or needed things.
Then, of course, Karen mentioned that I might be getting a new iPhone for Christmas, and my materialism kicked right in.
I just don’t want it to be this. I wish it were something more. I know that it can be something more. Attending just a brief Advent service this week calmed me, gave me a sense of peace, a sense of focus. That’s what I want to hold onto this season. I’m sure that I’ll enjoy a rushed shopping trip or two with the family, but what I’m most interested in is family, and faith, this Christmas season. Gifts will happen, but they will be incidental. And most certainly not a source of stress, because that will defeat the point.
Suddenly, it seems like that could be quite the accomplishment if I can pull it off. I’m going to give it a good attempt, though. And now I’m going to work on decorations.
Photo Attribution: Life’s Too Short