This year, as a result of many things, I’m going to attempt to restructure my holiday celebrations a little. Usually the Christmas tree goes up a week or so after Thanksgiving, the house gets decorated, Christmas comes and then goes and it’s all over. This year I want to try something different; a new structure to our holidays.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and after a conversation last night with a man who goes to my church I’m committed. He told me all about how Trinity celebrates the holidays. They do so in what they call a “counter-cultural approach” which is to say, Christmas doesn’t get celebrated until Christmas is here. They give the Advent season it’s full sway, the decorations don’t come out until Christmas among other things. This approach has gotten my interest recently, so after hearing the ways I’d be celebrating at church I thought it’d be the perfect time to implement it in my own home.

This comes from two sources, one a desire to feel a better connection to the sacred nature of the holidays (something I admit I’ve never really felt but want to) and as a way to adapt to our new family schedule. Ben is exceedingly busy at work right and won’t really get a reprieve until the holiday season is over. As he put it last night, if we wait until he has a free moment to decorate for the holidays it will be Christmas morning.

So with my personal reasons combined with it, we will slowly be preparing for Christmas over the next few weeks. I find this will nicely coincide with the Advent seasons lesson of preparation. This first decorations won’t go up until December 1st and that will be minimal (the wreath will go on the door, etc.), the tree will come up a week or two after that (when Ben has a moment to be a part of it), but decorations will wait. The house will slowly become decorate for the holidays, culminating on Christmas Eve.

Since the first time Ben will get to breathe a little easier is after the mad holiday rush, we’re going to extend our holidays with the Epiphany season, keeping the tree up and finding ways to make our celebration last as we finally can relax and enjoy the post-Christmas calm.

Other goals for the season:
*have an Advent wreath in the home and use it accordingly
*extend my beloved Christmas music selection to include more non-secular traditional music
*research, learning and prayer
*food, lots and lots of food
*time outside, apparently our town gets pretty decked out for the holidays and I can’t wait to take it all in
*continue my volunteer work and maybe do a little more
*church – I’m excited to see the holidays from a new viewpoint at Trinity and want to participate in as much as possible
*family and friends – find as many ways to connect with our loved ones

It seems like I’m going to try to fit in a lot in just over a month, but I’m excited to have a thoughtful and meaningful holiday season this year.

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