Every Advent I set out with the best of intentions. I will pray more, and I will not allow the secular world’s clarion call of “Buy, buy, buy” to drown out the less flashy but more important scriptural message of “Stay awake!” I vow not to go to shopping malls. I refuse to put up decorations too early. I take tags off the parish Giving Tree. I talk to the kids about asking for reasonable gifts and not expecting everything on their lists. But inevitably, by the time we’re one week out from Christmas, I find we’ve blown our budget and bought way more than anyone needed — or wanted, for that matter.
I just got off the phone with a friend and I talked about my issues with this season. Most people I know are almost done with their Christmas shopping. I haven’t even started. So I told him, “Don’t expect too much. I’ve decided I’m just not going to try that hard this year.” I do not mean that in a Bah-Humbug! sort of way. I mean that I’m just not going to let worries over meaningless gifts that will probably get tossed in a closet become the focus of the next few weeks.
Then I saw the video clip above. (Big h/t to Mike Hayes over at Googling God for bringing this one to my attention.) It says it all. Watch it, and then join me in not trying so hard — or spending so much — this season.
And while you’re at it, check out the second part of Patrice Athanasidy’s Advent series over at Fathers for Good. Click HERE to read about how her family counters the focus on material stuff at Christmas.
Then click HERE to read Jesuit Father James Martin’s post on Advent “desire” and how it’s not all bad.