Those who know me in real life know that I really don’t *LIKE* December very much. I hate the materialistic aspect of Christmas, decorating the house is ONE MORE THING TO DO (probably why I haven’t decorated on my own in years and usually delegated it to Jon), I loathe secular Christmas music, and besides, IT’S FREAKING ADVENT, PEOPLE!!! CHRISTMAS DOESN’T START UNTIL THE 24TH.
Having said all that, here are some of the things that are keeping me from being *TOO* grinchy this holiday season.
My Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar. If you don’t know about Jacquie Lawson, you need to surf over RIGHT NOW! She does interactive cards with beautiful artwork and music. Every year, she puts out an amazing Advent calendar which is under $5 to download onto your computer. This year, it’s a seaside Christmas and I know I’m always excited to see what I’ll be opening every morning. She also has an ornament smashing game which is great when I need to think something through but need to be doing something brainless to do it.
My church’s “Advent game”. On the first Sunday of Advent, they were handing out envelopes with slips of paper in them. The game is simple: take out one slip of paper each day and do that activity with your family or on your own. There are ideas for prayer, suggestions for things like building a fire and roasting marshmallows, writing a letter to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, read the O Antiphons, etc. Even though I missed a few days (OK… more like a week), it’s given me an interesting Advent.
My Advent playlist. It’s nice having music that fits the season and what we’re focusing on in church.
Family gatherings. With the amount of pain that has happened in my family this year (not just my divorce but other things), it has been really helpful to gather for things like celebrating my cousin’s graduation. We have a Christmas dinner we’re not having to host on Friday and it will be good to see everyone.
Getting to write the prayers we’re using for Christmas. My priest asked if I wanted to write the prayers being used for Christmas worship. This should be fun and definitely will help me get into the spirit of what the season is all about.