I have memories of November from growing up in Upstate New York; cool, crisp leaves crunching underfoot, frosty mornings, snow on the ground, dim sunlight through clouds and a gray that hung in the air. There were animals out, but there was a hush and a chill that let one know autumn was winding down and winter was on its way. I think for partially that reason, I really enjoyed this post by Elizabeth Foss (I just adore her and her writing!): http://www.elizabethfoss.com/reallearning/2013/11/november-silence.html
November always seemed like a still and silent time to me; a time to think and ponder and prepare. And so, heading into the holidays, I am pondering and preparing:
- first of all, the calendar. The calendar, with enough time to connect with beloved family and friends, but also enough time to be home. Enough time to be in the silence and stillness and enough time to prepare and enjoy this beautiful season.
- time for church and all the beautiful and reverent activities of Advent, a time of fasting and prayer. My Orthodox friends started fasting this past Friday; many blessings on your Nativity Fast, my friends.
- time to celebrate Advent in all its glory at home, week by week. You can see a few of my past posts about Advent here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/?s=advent
- time for making and crafting gifts. I have a small list of things I want to make, including peppermint bark, peppermint soap, peppermint salt dough, citrus salts for cooking, gingerbread scone mix, beeswax ornaments for the tree and glitter ball ornaments, and yes, a few plates of cookies to give away. I also love to buy natural gifts from Etsy and other artisans for other gifts that I cannot make, so I will be pondering that.
- time for pondering my own attitude…Is my attitude one of frenzy, one of being harried, with not enough time? If we are not careful, this can be the gesture that commercialism and lack of meaning of Advent brings to us. Instead, how can I bring a sense of peace, of enough time, of making time for the things that matter during Advent?