Rethink Advent

In our house we have devotions each night of the week.  Since there are five of us living in the house we each have a day where we are the devotion “leaders”.  My day is Monday.  Two weeks ago, for the first Monday in advent I wanted to do something a little different, I wanted my devotion to be appropriate for the season and applicable to what we are all doing this year in Maryland.  I thought I would begin the devotion with a simple question: What was the best Christmas gift you ever received?  But as I was preparing this I realized that I could not think of the best Christmas gift I had ever received.  I could think of nice gifts like a bike or a sled, and I could think of gifts that I really appreciated at the time that no longer hold much meaning to me (like a gazillion Barbies), but there was nothing that I felt deemed the title of “best”.  And it was from that realization where my devotion for the evening came.  There is a great video at that you should check out that explains my line of thinking much more effectively that I can.

The long and the short of it is that I don’t really need anything and many other people in the world need a lot.  When I think of all the best gifts I have received of all time (not just Christmas) the ones I remember were trips I took with my friends or family.  What I remember about Christmas is spending the entire day in my pajamas eating cinnamon rolls and playing Risk with my family, not who gave me an Applebee’s gift card.  So my housemates and I talked about this, and I found out that they all felt similarly, that it was the memories, not the stuff, that they cherished.

As a result of this conversation the Gilead House decided to spend more time with each other doing Christmas things.  We made paper snowflakes to decorate our home, and we spend 5 hours baking Christmas cookies, which gave us fun memories and gifts to give to friends and coworkers (and a lot to eat ourselves).  Spending advent this way makes me feel as if my cup is running over with wonderful things as opposed to feeling as if I don’t have enough money to squeeze through the Holidays.  Maybe I am preaching to the choir, but I think it is time to rethink advent.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Doug Taylor-Weiss
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 20:44:40

    Things have gotten so out of hand, maybe we need to simply think Advent.


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