The Christmas season is upon us. Usually a busy time full of hosting gatherings and endless preparation, this year is quieter, a time of reflection. The flurry of activity that normally swirls in a spirited merry-go-round is not appealing. Instead of to do lists and party planning – all the “doing” that typically fills my days and fuels late evenings, I am “being.”
It is a wonderfully different Christmas.
This Advent I will read various writings filled with the wisdom of others as I celebrate the deeper meaning of Christmas. The joy this year will not come from the décor that fills my social media feed, but rather from slowing down – listening to a beautiful song or enjoying a quiet morning with the lights of the Christmas tree as my meditation.
I’ve always loved the festivities of Christmas, the traditions and merriment of it all. But this year, I crave the quiet, the comfort, the peace the season offers. In years past it was hidden beneath the commotion, this year it is my primary focus.
This need for a quieter, calmer Christmas brought me to the wisdom of Gayle Boss who has created a lovely Advent book based on nature, All Creation Waits. She describes Advent as a time in nature “when light and life are fading.” As the growing season has come to an end with harvest, the days are getting shorter and the darkness creeps in. She encourages us to see “that Advent is about darkness and hope, fear and hope, loss and hope… The dark is not an end, but a door. This is where the new beginning comes.” Gratefully, her insight helps me as I navigate this different, quieter, more reflective Advent.
Maybe this is a different Christmas for you as well – perhaps you are facing heartbreak or sadness, it might be a first Christmas without a loved one, or maybe you simply can’t explain it – the longing for something deeper this December. Wherever you find yourself, even if there is darkness, may you also know peace and hope this Christmas season.