Preparing for the Season of Preparation

This Sunday marks the beginning of the liturgical year with the first Sunday of Advent. Not all Christians follow this calendar — some remember the birth and resurrection of Jesus on a regular basis and find the idea of such a calendar stifling, while Eastern Christians have been in Advent for a week or so already. Increasingly, however, many people are expressing a sense of meaningfulness in recognizing the traditional Christian calendar dates.

What I find challenging about Advent — much more than Lent — is that what it requires of us is very different from the other seasonal pulls that happen at the same time of the year. Advent invites us to be still, to wait, to long, to reflect, to be quiet in anticipation. At the same time, we’re making a list and checking it twice. We’re baking cookies, decorating trees, decking the halls, dashing through the snow to school concerts and office parties, traveling to see family and friends, stuffing turkeys, doublechecking those lists…aren’t you tired just thinking about it?

So what is a person to do? Does Advent only add more pressure — must slow down! must reflect! — to the to-do lists?

This has long been a real question for me, and I wrote an essay about it which is going to be available for free download starting this Sunday on It’s called The Christmas Clementine. I hope you will download it and let me know what you think. Let me know how Advent and CHRISTMAS! co-exist in your life in the month of December. 


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