To mark this mid-point of the Advent season, I thought I’d give an update on my efforts to observe the tenets of The Advent Conspiracy.
The challenge? During the month prior to Christmas
- Worship Fully
- Spend Less
- Give More
- Love All
Thanks to Soccer Boy, I’ve succeeded in worshiping more fully these last two weeks. Adventure Guy and I have a tendency to indulge our desire to sleep in on Sunday morning from time to time, choosing to go only to Sunday School rather than the earlier church service. While I believe this serves the noble purpose of making us happier, well-rested people when done occasionally, recently we’d slipped into the habit of doing this more Sundays than not.
It wasn’t until Soccer Boy needed to be at church earlier than usual the last two weeks that I realized how much I’d missed the worship experience. I am particularly enjoying our singing of more traditional seasonal hymns along with the more contemporary worship music. They remind me of my childhood and the long history of Christmas celebration.
Soccer Boy also allowed me to meet a portion of the Love All challenge. The tween group at our church supports The Heifer Project, an organization that promotes sustainable farming practices. Not only did I get to see Soccer Boy dressed up as a cow to promote the initiative, but I also purchased part of a llama to be sent to a family in need.
The give more portion of the challenge revolves around giving time, not money, of taking the opportunity to relax and enjoy those we love rather than allowing the pressures that often accompany this time of year to get the best of us. I find that piece to be the most challenging.
I struggle at times with the urge toward perfectionism. And that ends up making my family a bit crazy rather instead of happy. I’m proud to report that my efforts in this area are going well. I didn’t put out quite as many decorations as I sometimes do, and I decorated over two days rather than launching an all-out frontal assault on all unadorned surfaces. I told Adventure Guy not to bother with putting lights along the roof line, freeing him from the need to execute his annual death-defying moves in below-freezing temperatures. We also decided it wasn’t worth rushing to get the tree up before we host the Sunday school class party Friday night. We’ll go back to that “give more” idea instead and choose a time when we can leisurely select and decorate a tree with the kids.
So, that’s where I stand so far. I have to say, I’m pleased with the overall effect. While I still have a few more tasks on my holiday “to do” list, I find that I’m looking forward to them rather than merely ticking them off. Soon, I’ll be addressing cards (wrote the Christmas letter tonight!) and making a list and checking it twice for needed cookie and candy ingredients.
Which brings me to my closing questions. What is your favorite holiday treat? and If you had to choose only one holiday tradition to observe this year, what would it be?