What I'm Doing

Monday, November 28, 2005


I really should pay more attention. I just found out that yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent. For those that don't know, Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas. From what I have read, traditionally, this is supposed to be a time of preparation and of waiting for Christmas. The idea is that we enter into the Gospel story, in some way.

Of course, in our society, Advent has been eclipsed by the phenomenon known as the "Christmas season". Rather than being a holy season where we are especially focused on Christ and His Coming, it is a season of sales, shopping, and stress. The preparation of the soul to celebrate the birth of her Savior has been replaced with the preparation of the gift pile. Instead of a time of quiet devotion, or of recollection, it is a time of busyness. It is rather sad that the season of Christ's birth has become the greatest annual show of consumerism.

I'll buy gifts, certainly, but I will try to do so not out of a sense of obligation, but willingly. I'll probably listen to some Christmas music, but I'm going to try to listen to more songs like "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" than "White Christmas". I'll enjoy the Christmas season, partly because some of it is enjoyable, but also partly because I have no other choice. However, I want to try this year not to forget, as the cliché goes, "the reason for the season."

In addition, this seems like an appropriate time to try again at reading On the Incarnation by Athanasius. For some reason, I have repeatedly begun, but never finished, reading that book. This year, that will be my goal.

Also, if anyone can suggest some good (preferably free) resources to better understand the Christian calendar and the signifigance of the different days/seasons, please do. I'd love to read more about this stuff.

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