Lists, schedules, and calendars dominate this time of year. We have lists for groceries, another list for gifts that need to be purchased and decisions on who is on or off the Christmas card and family letter list.
There is a business in the air, as we dash between Christmas shopping, school concerts and any number of social commitments. In all our business and preparation, it is easy to lose track of what the fuss is all about.
A few years ago, amidst the usual preparations in my household, my wife said to me, “Robin, we need a time out!” She went on to explain that we are so busy at this time of year that we barely have time to get our own house ready for Christmas. Thus began a new tradition in our house, the annual family Christmas Preparation Day.
The day begins with taking a day off work and without telling the kids ahead of time, we keep them home from school. I cook breakfast and make the trip to the storage unit to collect the Christmas tree and the many, many boxes of ornaments and decorations.
At this point I usually spend half the morning trouble shooting and figuring out which lights are working, and which are not. Then we decorate the tree and house so that we can finally be ready to embrace the Christmas season. The day ends with a ride on the Christmas Train in Stanley Park or, as we did this year, a visit to Vandusen Garden to see the lights.
Advent, these precious four weeks before Christmas is a time of preparation for the birth of Christ into our lives and world once more. Advent is the time where God places us on God’s calendar. God prepares to be a part of our lives and world and makes us God’s priority.
What does this time of year, with the singing of angels and the birth of a baby, tell us about how we are God’s priority? Happy Advent.