So it snowed last night. A lot. Wet, heavy snow, you know the stuff that looks all fluffy and gorgeous on the branches… until the poor branch breaks under the weight of it (cue our tree!) With less than a month until Christmas Day, it got me wondering how I will fare under the weight of the fluff and gorgeousness of the season…
I love the snow. Aren’t snowflakes just the most delicious little icy miracle-bundles? I’m not quite as enthusiastic about it after January, but the whole white Christmas thing is still a spectacular novelty for this Brit, even after living in Canada for 20 years. There’s something pure and magical about the way it covers even the grimiest areas in a blanket of white. But like I said, sometimes the weight of it can be devastating— causing trees to fall, power outages, and even roofs to collapse. Avalanches have taken numerous lives, no match for the sheer power of the snow flow. How can something so visually whimsical and unarguably beautiful do such damage? How can the lead up to Christmas, with all the festive food and heart-warming carols and sparkling parties and glorious gifts and events with loved ones, have potential to be our undoing? It’s enough to make the dog run for cover.
I’m pretty sure Advent is not supposed to be like this.
I’m pretty sure Advent is all about the coming of Jesus.
How do we NOT get snowed under with all the fru-fru Christmas entails, and remind ourselves of this: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)?
It just so happens that I do have a little suggestion. Last year, I picked up a copy of The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, and forced myself to sit and actually ENJOY rather than endure Advent. It worked! I blogged about it last Christmas Eve HERE. Yes, I was in such a non- crazy place that I could even write a blog post on Christmas Eve! There’s your proof.
The Greatest Gift unwraps the full love story of Christmas, starting way back in Genesis, imploring the reader not to miss the love story in the pre-Christmas haze of hectic. I think if we can attempt to focus on the heart of Christmas, take just a little time every day to remember why on earth we are celebrating anyway, then our priorities somehow fall into place. Like pretty, dancing snowflakes… and not an avalanche in sight. 🙂
I know the Christmas season is all a bit overwhelming (she says, trying not to fixate on the flurry of pre-Christmas events, followed by 2 ½ weeks of family visiting from the UK, followed by a trip to India… all absolutely marvelous yet requiring a truckload of organization!) but amidst the lists for food, gifts, events, and to-do’s, why not write a wish list of your own for this Advent? Here’s my (somewhat hefty but desirable) wish list:
*I want to be generous with my TIME, not just with shiny, wrapped presents.
*I want to put LOVE into my Christmas baking.
*I want to PLAY in the snow, not just shovel it. (Okay, maybe I leave the shoveling to the guys, but you get the gist.)
*I want to SING carols with a fresh perspective, marveling at the words and wonder of the newborn Christ-child.
*I want to GIVE of myself. Not be preoccupied. Not be “too busy”.
*I want to be PRESENT.
As December fast approaches, and my American friends are celebrating Thanksgiving, I urge you (and me) to take time to truly appreciate Advent this year. Maybe grab a copy of The Greatest Gift to enjoy with your morning latte,, or pop it on your Christmas list ready for next year, but carve out some time and do something to cause you to pause and not buckle under the weight and potential pressure of the season. I dug out my copy and opened it again today in readiness for Monday… I CAN’T WAIT!
May you be avalanched only with love!
“God gives God, and we only need to slow long enough to unwrap the greatest Gift with our time: time in His Word, time in His presence, time at His feet.” (The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp)
Wishing you a beautiful, blessed Advent,
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers. Check them out: