How will you make room?

It’s about that time of year when I begin to reflect and consider what I might do to make this year a meaningful Advent.  I do this both personally(my life and my families) and professionally (what can I do in my religious education program that would be valuable).

This time of year is the calm before the storm…once the week before Thanksgiving hits, the holiday season seems in full force and people are going even faster than usual in their daily lives.  It’s important to take some time now to consider how this Advent will lead you closer to Christ this Christmas.  I realize some of you might be thinking: it’s just a little too early for me to be thinking that far ahead.  Well, maybe it is, but it’s not too early in my life.

3 things to consider/reflect upon:

1. Ask a few questions… How is God calling me to grow closer to Him this Advent?  During Advent what might I consider that is a challenge but realistic for where I’m at in my life?  Will the sacrifice I make, activity I choose or the attitude I seek to foster make room for Jesus and welcome Him more fully into my life and those around me on Christmas and beyond?

2. Advent is actually a penitential season, therefore doing a little penance is worth considering.  Penance helps one to refocus, to keep in mind that Mary and Joseph had a long journey and a challenging time leading up to the glorious “Advent” of Jesus’ birth.  What could you do during the 4 weeks of Advent that unites your sacrifice with that of the holy family?

3. Consider something like the popular “advent conspiracy” project. Check out this video and website.  It offers great ideas about how to give “presence” instead of presents.  This is not merely about saving money or being cheap about what you give but the difference it could make if you give yourself or a donation over merely a gift that will be forgotten in 6 months.  It’s something to consider and discern.    Or check out this great article entitled “A Different Kind of Advent”.

What do you do before things get too busy when considering the upcoming Advent Season?