Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On advent

It’s approaching. Christmas is but weeks away, and it's time to pull out that special feeling reserved for the holiday of holidays.

Perhaps more special than Christmas itself, is the anticipation. When I visited my sister’s family last week, my oldest nephew (of four and a half) told me everything he wanted for Christmas. Basically, he picked out everything in the toy catalogue, except the “girly stuff”. When asked if he looked forward to Santa’s visit, he replied only with a shy grin.

Preparations and plans are being made all about. I’ve received numerous invitations to various Christmas parties, -dinners and -workshops.

At work there is a different Christmas spirit – that of commercialism and stress. Not my favourite kind of Christmas spirit, but after having spent quite a few holidays working over the past eight years, it’s a part of what Christmas is to me.

In short, advent is a busy time. As a student, it is inevitably connected to exams. This year I’m in the privileged position that I don’t have any (for the first time since 2004). I do, however, have deadlines, so I am busier than ever. We’ll see how many of my invitations will have “sorry, not this time” as their RSVP.

In the end, it is important to try to take a step back in the time prior to Christmas, and enjoy it. Take the time to light a candle, have a cup of hot chocolate and listen to some favourite carols. Relax, sit back, and try not to let the stress get to you. Spend some time with friends and family – after all, isn’t it usually for them we go through all the stress in the first place?

One of the things I’ve always liked about advent is advent calendars. The Burrow started last year what looks like it might become a tradition – our very own advent calendar. Where I come from, these are usually given to kids with one gift for every day prior to Christmas Eve. The gifts are often small toys or candy. The Burrow’s calendar is of the less materialistic kind, as it consists of a drabble and a picture each day. Please visit us at http://www.the-burrow.org/ for a treat every day for the upcoming 24 days.


Mason Canyon said...

What a wonderful idea. I'll definitely check it out. The holidays are too stressed and we forget to enjoy the simple things in life until it's too late and we say, "I wish I had."
With that in mind, I say an early "HAPPY HOLIDAYS" to you, a new friend that is helping to de-stress my life across the miles by sharing thoughts and family traditions.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great reminder to sit back and enjoy our families and friends during the busyness.

My kids love advent calendars! They each have one that has a piece of candy for every day, and then a calendar that they share that has different Christmas-themed pictures each day.

Thanks for the link to the Burrow's advent calendar full of drabbles.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Watery Tart said...

I saw your title and though "Ack! Did Mari and I mind-meld again?" but it is only a little... I love the enjoyment piece... cocoa stirred with a candy cane is a favorite at our house. First snow is usually a part of it too--maybe even a SNOW DAY...

Hope your thesis deadlines are fullfilled easily so you can do some WRITING...

Tundiel said...

Bah! I was going to blog about our advent calender too today, but I saw both yours and Tami's and I was like 'crap!', so I blogged silly song alterntaives instead. *snorts*

Great nudge to remind us to actually ENJOY this time of year instead of stressing!

Cruella Collett said...

Mason - so glad to hear that I have long distance de-stressing abilities (the short distant ones are temporarily malfunctioning...)! I get all traditiony as Christmas approaches, so I'm sure there will be more.

Elizabeth - isn't advent calendars the best thing ever? It used to be the only thing that could get me out of bed all through the long, cold, dark month of December...

Tami/Tara - I figured that other might want to blog about the calendar too, but then I figured that the more PR the better, right? But I guess it would be even smarter to spread it out (I'll probably post one of my own drabbles for one of my slots).

*pretends to follow my own advice of enjoying advent and not stressing*

hopelessmoo said...

Ooh, I love Advent Calendars! Every year when we were little our special Aunts gave the family one, but it was never one of the candy ones. They always just had pictures, but we always enjoyed opening the windows anyway!

Happy holidays!

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