Monday, December 22, 2014

It's Almost Time to Stop...

Well, it's finally here, the fourth week of Advent. Have you finished doing everything Pinterest told you to do?

No? Me neither.

Wow. Advent has really been crazy in our house this year. We've been passing one nasty cold after another among the members of my immediate family - not to mention that due to a comedy of errors, my root canal happened a week later than it was supposed to, so, needless to say we haven't been going crazy with decorating this year.

We're having my family come over for Christmas morning, and so I'm starting to really feel the stress that comes with suddenly realizing that I'm hosting a party that has to have two meals served in one day, when the house is nowhere near clean, and I haven't actually done any Christmas shopping.

Okay, maybe it isn't as bad as all that. Not anymore, but when I started drafting this post, it was all true.

I know I'm not the only one in this situation, and I think we could all stand to take a lesson from one Daniel Tiger. The jingles in Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood are very useful - I especially like the ones that make things like babysitters and diaper changes easier, and make fits suddenly stop. (The fact that I say this is how you know I have a toddler in the house!)

In episode 129, Daniel learns that we have to stop what we're doing when it's time to go do something else, in his case, "something else" was "go to bed".  I spent several minutes looking for a clip of the episode I wanted on their website. It is there, so you can go look through their list of episodes, if you need a new earworm. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to link to the individual episode, so you will have to get along without the catchy tune, unless you're willing to go hunting for it. The words to the song are,
"It's almost time to stop, so choose one more thing to do...
...That was fun but now, it's done!"
Advent is a season of preparation for Christmas. For the last three-ish weeks, that's what we've all been doing like crazy people. We've been preparing for family parties. We've been preparing food, searching for perfect presents, preparing and sending Christmas cards. We have been going and going and going, and it's almost time to stop. We need to slow down, so that when Christmas gets here, we are ready to change gears.

As Lacy at Catholic Icing pointed out, Advent is a time of nesting in some ways - nesting for baby Jesus, so all of this preparation is important, but we also need to maintain our focus in the midst of it.

One of her very insightful commenters also asked another important question that we should think about:
What would we really do if we were eight months pregnant?

Between now and Christmas, I invite you to take up this challenge with me:
Choose one thing to do each day, but otherwise, try to slow down and just wait.

Also, just a quick announcement:
My reflection on the epistle for next Sunday will be posted on Friday this week, so that I can spend time on Christmas with my family.

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