Sunday, November 28, 2010

A First Pause in Advent 2010

Welcome to our first Pause in Advent for 2010 - the list of the other bloggers taking part is on your left, and if you would like to join us by posting this Sunday or Monday, just leave a comment here and I'll add your blog to the list! Please do go and check out the other bloggers, as it's always fantastic to read what others around the world are doing or thinking in the run-up to Christmas.For me, Advent is a wonderful way of marking and measuring-out my Christmas preparations. The house becomes full of festive decorations and activity, but actual Christmas can be saved for nearer the time, so that everything is really fresh and enjoyable for the 12 Days of Christmas (from December 24th onwards).I blogged quite a bit about this book in 2009, and I know that other bloggers have it too - it is one of those books that will mean different things to different people, because it recognises that we look all for slightly different things from Christmas. But I thought I'd start this Advent season by letting you read a bit from the beginning of the book, accompanied by a few photos of our Advent celebrations from previous years:
"But the one concern that unites virtually all the people we've talked to is a yearning for a simpler, less commercial, more soul-satisfying celebration. There is a universal wish to end the year with a festival of renewal that rekindles our faith, brings us closer to people we care about, and brings light and laughter to the dark days of winter. We want to ward off the commercial excesses of the season and create an authentic, joyful celebration in tune with our unuique needs and desires.
"But is this possible? We've noticed that many people come to our workshops with an air of resignation. Although they're unhappy about holiday commercialism - 'Why do they have to start so early?' 'Why is there so much pressure to buy, buy, buy?' - they don't have much faith in their ability to unplug the Christmas Machine.
"And although they freely admit to feeling hassled in those hectic weeks leading up to Christmas and then let down by the celebration itself, they aren't convinced that they can make any significant changes. That's the way [they feel] Christmas is for adults; stressful and ultimately disappointing."Quick note from me: I don't think I've ever felt that bad about Christmas, but I do recognise the things about stress, commercialisation and expectations!
So, to end this first Advent post, I'm going to use the Christmas Pledge from the beginning of my book:
The Christmas Pledge
Believing in the true spirit of Christmas,
I commit myself to
Remember those people who truly need my gifts
Express my love in more direct ways than gifts
Examine my holiday activities in the light of my deepest values
Be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends
Rededicate myself to my spiritual growth


marigold jam said...

Lovely post Floss. Thanks for reminding me about that book - I intend to get hold of it and read it as it certainly speaks to me. Good luck with all your resolutions.


Lalabibaby @ Dreaming of The Simple Life said...

Lovely post Floss and so thought provoking. I won't be joining in this year as I have too many other distractions at the moment but I will be following and reading all the comments and posts as I am so in need of this at the moment. Thank you so much xx

Luisa @ Dance in my garden said...

Appreciate your pledge Floss, that list is not as simple to execute, as it first appears.
Thank you for a beautiful first post for 'advent', kicking us all off in 'pause for advent' style!
I do love the sound of that book - wonder if i could get it in Australia?

VintageVicki said...

Great post Floss - sort of what I was going to do at one Sunday. Would love to read that book - wonder if my local library has it?

Off to think of todays theme & find a suitable picture or 2.

hip-chick said...

I have not read that book but did read another one called the hundred dollar Christmas which was very good. I have found that this year I seem to find it difficult to balance between the folks who are always complaining that Christmas starts to early and the whole commercialism of it. I tend to seek the places where none of that dis-quietness is going on.
hip chick (a collection of days)

Natasha said...

Wow, this is a truly beautiful post! If only we could think about the values and beliefs being promoted in the pledge all year around...wouldn't that be fabulous!

Best wishes always,

Angela said...

Great post, Floss - thanks again for setting up the Advent Pause Blogs!

Carol said...

Thank you so much for that thoughtful post Floss.
Carol xx

Kaye - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

Excellent and thought-provoking post, Floss, Thank you :) And thank you for another delightful Pause In Advent. One of my goals throughout the Advent season is to find fun and creative Advent and Christmas activities for grandparents and grandchildren that make the whole holiday special for my grandkids and me and that keep pointing our hearts and thoughts to Jesus - the wonderful Reason for the Season. Also, to have plenty of joy-filled Christmas praise and worship music playing throughout! Two of the best parts of the season for me. :)

Heidi said...

I loved this post and I'm going to try and do one of those candles!

magsmcc said...

I think I met Pom Pom and Angela through Pause in Advent last year- and now I have a book to investigate for next year's Preparing for Advent- what a wealth of inspiration!

Lorrie said...

Hello Floss. I do love this time of year. And I've joined in with A Pause in Advent once again. I thought I'd mentioned it, but perhaps not.

sharie said...

LOL I unplugged Christmas long ago.
Now I only do the bits that I love - pressies for very close relatives and a nice tree and dinner.

Sue at Dollytub Cottage said...

An inspirational post, Floss. Thank you! SueXXX

Serenata said...

Brilliant post Floss and great quote. It is an interesting book.

This week will be a time of gentle reflection and planning for me as I am starting to feel slightly panicky.

Sheila said...

What a lovely post. I would like to join in too. i remember reading what other people wrote last year.
Thank you

Jane and Chris said...

Floss, thanks for stopping by to comment on my Pause in advent post. I want to give you a BIG Thank You for organising this.I love that we are sharing our special moments with one another. I know that my life is already richer for the experience.
Thank you!
Jane x

Lola Nova said...

What a good pledge! Over here in the sates there has been such an onslaught of "SALE, SALE, SALE!" for the week after Thanksgiving. 4 am sales in every major store, it's a bit crazy. I have never taken part in such sales because it seems like a most unpleasant way to spend ones time. Our family has not really celebrated with that kind of excess anyway. For us it is a time of togetherness and recharging for the new year.

I look forward to the coming weeks of your advent pause, a lovely reminder of what is truly important.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea! I'm posting for Advent as well.
I'll put your button up on my blog.

Apron Senorita said...

Hello Floss, I have been looking forward to another year of A Pause in Advent. Thank you for hosting and keeping us focused.

Best Holiday Wishes,
Apron Senorita

A Bun Can Dance said...

Oh I love your post, Floss! And I've read the book so much and returned to it often throughout the year - it's relevant in all we do all year round, isn't it? You've inspired me to write a Pause in Advent Post, so I'm thinking it through and will put it on the blog over the next few days.
Wishing you a peaceful Advent this year,
Take care,
Denise x

Anna said...

This is a lovely post. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you and your family a happy Advent season.

Toby Tea Cozy said...

Great post Floss, very thought provoking - I missed Church last Saturday because I was travelling back from a course in Leeds and got stuck in the snow and it wasn't until then that I realised how much I look forward to advent masses, time to reflect and be peaceful, it's a really good reason to just sit and think for a change instead of getting all caught up in the rush! Happy advent!