One of the things that drives me absolutely nuts about this consumer culture that we live in is that the minute Halloween or Remembrance Day is over, the Christmas music starts trickling out over the airwaves, and by December 1st, it has become a common place torrent that erodes any real sense of celebration long before December 25th. Our girl Christina is working in a downtown dental office that plays a top 40 station, and November 20th, she came home saying, "If I hear Santa Baby one more time today, I might kill something." Not that Santa Baby is real Christmas music.
The rush to Christmas starts too early for my liking. Not only that, but the full on decoration, lights and sounds we find at malls are guaranteed to prevent me from shopping because I love anticipation. We need a little Christmas right this very minute is not my song.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Personally, I can't have a Merry Christmas until I've given some thought to what the world might be like without Christmas. Advent is one of my favourite seasons because I love spending time in joyful waiting, longing and hoping. It's good for the soul to rest in this winter darkness and wait for The Light. I wish someone would come up with an album of Advent songs like the one below that I could play for most of December. Christmas without Advent is like a movie without a trailer, Suzanna says. And my girls would know... they've been anxiously waiting for The Hobbit and Les Miserables for months, checking websites for sneak previews, longing for the movies for months or longer.
Today's simple idea is to let the anticipation of Christmas build like that in whatever way works best for you. My thing is singing Advent songs. Here's one of the few I could find on Youtube. Even if you don't like bluegrass, you have to admit that these people are pretty talented! Personally, I like the little catch in the lead singer's voice, like an audible longing... but it's the ancient O Antiphons that I really love. I just wish they had sung all seven. Enjoy! And Happy Advent!