it’s complicated

Advent and I have a tenuous relationship. Basically, I love to put up Christmas decorations before Christmas, and Advent makes me feel guilty for doing so.

And by Advent, I mean, my pastor. And my brother-in-law. And all you other pious Advent purists. (FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S GOOD, HOW DO YOU DO IT?!)

christmas 236It goes like this: Every year I promise to be faithful to Advent. I vow not to cheat on it by listening to painful Mariah Carey carols (All I want for Christmas is youuUUUuuUUUuuUUU) or sending out Christmas cards before it’s actually Christmas.

And yet somehow every year I also find myself breaking up with Advent amidst tears and sobs and broken promises because I just can’t do it. And that’s not even touching on the amount of time I lay in bed eating ice cream and feeling sad and guilty and ashamed that I can’t just be true to Advent.

christmas 239

So I’ve come up with a new plan that should pretty much ensure that Advent and I will have a long, healthy relationship, whole and pure, until death parts us: I’m simply going to start re-naming things.

Ex: I’m not putting up Christmas decorations. I’m putting up winter decorations.

Ex: I’m not listening to Christmas music. I’m listening to seasonal music.

Ex: I’m not Christmas shopping. I’m . . . Advent shopping.

See how this works? Everyone wins! I can still be penitent and contemplative and reflective with Advent while maintaining a completely innocent friendship with Christmas.

I mean, winter . . . time.

Um, holidays.


Uhhh, Ihavetogo.

4 thoughts on “it’s complicated

  1. I love Advent. That is, I love Advent hymns, Advent wreaths, purple and pink candles, and Old Testament readings. But we always got our Nativity scenes out with the Advent wreath (also I don’t subscribe to this hiding-baby-Jesus-away-foolishness). I think I like Advent because of the anticipation. The holding my breath for Christmas is part of the fun. Of course, I do all the other stuff too. Blast the Christmas carols in the car. Bake cookies. I do kinda like putting out the Christmas decorations gradually, but let’s face it, they’re all out way before Christmas actually gets here. So I don’t know if I have the secret happy medium, a dual life, or just complete denial. Probably the last one. But I will say this: it is still November for one more day, and the people across the street from me with their Christmas lights glaring a week before Thanksgiving… that was just too much.

  2. Lol. Growing up in a PK house, Advent was the time for waiting – and we put up our Christmas tree very close to Christmas but we started the baking long before then! Now, I put things up earlier (starting now, this year) but we’re still waiting for CHRISTmas, so I’m not going to let my Lutheran guilt get the best of me! 🙂 Enjoy your Advent AND CHRISTmas!

  3. I was always taught that Advent was the time of preparation…and let’s face it…those of us who really do it up right need more than a few hours on the eve of the 24th to prepare. And if you apply the true Advent spirit to your life, should we not then be living Advent every day of the year..preparing for Christ’s return? As for the guilt…peshaw! I’d rather ask for forgiveness standing before my Savior than permission from ANY man. and on that note…fa la la la la la la la laaaaaaa.

  4. Those who make people feel guilty for enjoying secular Christmas seasonal joys before Christmas? I call them Advent Pietists. Or just Pietists. But I’m a curmudgeon.

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