December 1, 2014

An Imperfect Advent

The pressure of Christmas.  It is almost superseded by the pressure of Advent.  Now a New York Times best-selling author has introduced us mothers to a whole new set of expectations - a pre-Advent celebration, complete with lights, cards, meaningful ornaments, treats, and beautiful children. Nothing short of inspired!  At the same time, we're encourage not to make Christmas, but to let Christmas hold us.  I'm still trying to figure that one out. How does Christmas happen without time and energy to carry on our traditions, even the simplest of them?

Mental plans for a simple and deeply meaningful Advent season began months ago for me.  Still thinking that homemade is always more meaningful, I bypassed the free printables.  I planned and sketched and drew and painted and cut for days and nights on end, finishing up with 24 individual Advent cards to read each day until Christmas.  None turned out perfectly, and only a few attained the folk art(ish) idea in my head.  But I reminded myself they are full of character with a wonderful message. Perfection is a myth! My time will be felt as love! 

All is good, right? Unfortunately, the entire project is currently sitting at the print shop, which unexpectedly remained closed the entire Thanksgiving weekend!!! There will be no official start to Advent today for the families I was hoping share with.  At least not the way I had in mind.

So I ponder the subtle lessons:

*Perhaps those printables aren't such a bad idea.

*Perhaps it's time to write the next best seller.  Rethinking Christmas: A Humble Guide For Perfectionists Who Can't Do It All.

*Perhaps this is exactly what the real Christmas thing is all about...that we can't achieve perfection? That we fall short?  That when we come to the end of ourselves there is Hope in the Christ Child?


  1. I avoid the whole pull toward perfectionism or achieving some sort of standard at Christmas. I don't even remember Advent existing when I was a child, and now there's pre-Advent? What? :) I think I will stick with the Advent in my heart -- that feeling of expectancy during December, regardless of the particular day. A feeling of waiting and hope for something very small but very important. I like that. Your photo of lights is lovely!