I have been reading posts about keeping Christmas in December. Or (for our American cousins) at least until after Thanksgiving. I get the point, I do, but....
We're singing Christmas songs in my choir. Because we may (or may not) be moving house before 25th December, I've bought most of my gifts and am about to start wrapping - and I'm often nearly done by this point anyway. I'm loving the Christmassy feel of these preparations. Because I know that on 1 December I will be doing my IT'S ALL ABOUT ADVENT! spiel, and I won't have to worry about doing much except waiting. (Actually, they tell me Advent begins on 27th November this year......)
Added to this of course that the girls and I wrapped up our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in late October (there is still time to help!) and added to the Compassion gift Christmas gift fund even earlier. And 'Santa' has already purchased the books of the Christmas Story for our under 5s to receive at the Pram Service Christmas party. So my feeling is - yes, keep Christ in Christmas. And Christmas in December. And focus on Advent. But plan and dream all you like, especially when it's for the children.
Because we all know Christmas is not just about that one day (despite its importance)! So all those people who keep looking at me as if I am mad piling up the selection boxes, Christmas decorations, giftwrap and labels into my basket - I have got my priorities exactly right. I am focused on giving, in all its ways, and come Advent I am going to sit down with Sarah Reinhard or Kathleen M Basi and unfold spiritually. Something THIS special needs forward planning. If I'm going to keep the oil in my lamp burning, I need a plan of action and more than just 25 days in which to fully prepare to Christmas.
My husband was born on 29 November. Perhaps I had better give some forethought to his birthday gift too?
29th November is also the first day of our weekly Advent study group at church, and the first theme is Mary, so I will be going there rather than staying in with my husband....again, priorities?!
In case that sounds really slack, we are celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary at our favourite French bistro Le Mistral next week as part of their Beaujolais Nouveau (wine) Festival, which I booked, and booked babysitters. It is also a celebration of FIFTEEN YEARS as a couple, and 15 years ago this November we learned about Beaujolais Nouveau together. AND I have got him an anniversary gift which I won't reveal here, because sometimes I really do think he is the only person (thank you) who reads my blog.
Read Jen and all the other contributors over at Conversion Diary.