Once again, we are in that season of the year that seems to slip away all too quickly-- the leaves are magnificent and bold one day, and the next they are carelessly scattered on our lawns. The weather is a pleasant crispness that calls for a light sweater, and soon the cold winds of winter have moved in. We are putting up Halloween decorations, and then just as that hay bale is starting to look like a fixture, Advent is around the corner.
I am excited about having a prayerful and intentional Advent this year. One in which we can whittle down our engagements and commitments to the point that we have time for sacred leisure-- baking some cookies, sitting by a fire-- not out of a sense of commitment, but out of a sense of joy. And knowing myself, this just can't quite be done while shopping, running around and trying to get presents and craft supplies and baking ingredients.
So, once again, I am committing to a shopping-free Advent. Our Advent last year wasn't shopping-free. There were items left to be purchased, errands left to be run. But I think that our foresight (and the fact that we took care of a lot of things early) made Advent more intentional, more holy. We also did not end up purchasing all of our Christmas presents from thrift stores-- but we did purchase several from used book sales and thrift stores-- and spending a little less money was an act that left me feeling good about the holiday.
This year, I'm not really out to purchase all of our gifts from thriftstores, nor am I out to make all of our Christmas gifts by hand (and at this, I imagine several family members will sigh in relief). But I am spending this month meditating on the spirit of generosity, simpleness, and kindness. Trying to imagine what will bring those I love a meaningful joy. Trying to find ways to use my own creative spirit to celebrate those that I love. And trying to make space in my own home, my own spirit, for the Christ child to find a room.