In 2009, I wrote a series called, ‘The Inner Work of Advent” and it featured twelve posts. You can see the posts in this series in this round-up post. This year, I would like to approach Advent through the topic of calm and quiet. I think most people intuitively know this is a time of year to prepare, to wait, to anticipate, but somehow along the way it gets hijacked by commercialism, materialism, busy, too many end of year parties and holiday festivities. I have fallen into that trap myself, and would like to encourage all of us toward some time of re-centering toward what is important in this time of year. Creating light to prevail over darkness. Wholeness to prevail over brokeness. Health to prevail over illness, in body and mind and spirit.
In order to do this, we must carve out time to be at home and not running off somewhere. We must carve time to be in solitude and think and re-center ourselves. What are our priorities? What are our values? What is our vision for our family, our mission (more on that soon). If we homeschool, perhaps we might think, without even putting a label of what “methodology” it is – what do we value? How do we connect to others in meaningful ways? How do we shine light in our corner of the world? How do we find ourselves and our joy?
These are big topics, but I hope to dive into these swirling depths over the next few weeks during Advent. Won’t you join me?
In my house we only have gifts for the kids for Christmas. We don’t give to anyone else and others don’t give to us. It’s not a Dutch tradition so we have zero stress about that. Christmas is about playing board games, candles and good food to us. We never have people over on Christmas day, nor do we go anywhere. The days leading up to it we do buy for shelters and that gets a bit crazy sometimes. I try to be done with that when the kids get home from school so we have time for each other. But sometimes they help carry gifts upstairs, or they help wrap but nothing too hectic going on for them! We try to make buying a tree enjoyable too by picking it out with the four of us and having hot cocoa or a nice dinner. If anything we try to slow down more than in the other months and reflect on our lives and others. The kids donate part of their allowance in a charity box and in December they decide what to give to. That’s not always a peaceful process I have to add 🙂
I’d love to hear more ideas from others to make December as happy and cozy as can be!
sounds wonderful! I’ve been starting my mornings very early to have quiet and a time to read and reflect–it has helped set the tone these last few days…
I look forward to reading more, Carrie.
Looking forward it! I start Advent with the best intentions but they always seem to go awry and get caught up in stuff forgetting what it really is about. I enjoyed doing your Advent inner work series this year and plan on doing it again during the 12 days after Christmas! Here’s to calm and quiet – the best present we can give ourselves and our family.
looking forward. I am off to a half day retreat tomorrow. My whole being has been clamouring for some me time to think for a long long time and finally t is coming 🙂
Yes to all of that! ☺