As the third week of Advent draws to a close, our Advent wreath and creche are still the focus in our home. We've decided that we will put up our tree on the 4th and final Sunday of Advent. The kids are excited, to say the least.
It was just a few years ago that I was a mad-woman during this season. I baked 13 varieties of cookies and sent out a bazillion Christmas cards. My house was cleaned and decorated, presents wrapped and menus planned. The only thing missing - true joy. Although everything looked perfect from the outside, I wasn't joyful in my tasks. I was more worried about being the perfect homemaker than being present to my family and the season. Last Sunday, our priest during his homily talked about how Satan loves this time of year. It's so easy for him to move in and push Christ out in all of the chaos and busyness that we allow ourselves to get caught up in. How true. So this year, I made a conscience effort to not get overwhelmed by the different elements of the season. I baked one kind of cookie for an exchange - something that I'm doing more for social reasons than to have a plate of cookies. I wrote a Christmas letter that has yet to be sent out, and not one present has been purchased as of today. I'm not totally reformed, as I do have a plan for next week, but everything has been simplified, which equates a happier, more loving home.
This morning I heard on the radio a woman talking about Mary's Yes to God's call. Saying yes to things is important, however, learning to say NO is also valuable. She shared that by saying NO we are preserving our YES to those things we are already committed to. For me, simplifying my life means that I am saying yes to my faith and my family.
So as the final week before Christmas approaches, I hope everyone allows themselves time to breath, to relax, to spend more time in prayer, doing so with a joyful spirit.
P.S. I'm not sure how appropriate this story is for sharing, but what the heck. Last night as I was changing Pumpkin's diaper she said, "my bellybutton butt hurts." I said, "your belly button is on your belly." She replied, "then my butt button hurts!"