The arrival of Christmas means the end of “Alternative Advent,” the Advent series I’m writing over at Busted Halo. Here are the final posts – if you’ve been keeping up with it, I thank you, and would hug you if I could. Probably. Merry Christmas!
Part 7: I’ve Learned Not to Mess with My Grandma’s Nativity Scene
[Some] years my dad will put lights on our house; other years he’ll refrain and then try to get me to put them up when I complainbut I’m not falling for that. Sometimes, being San Diegans who are accustomed to temperatures that never go below 63°, we’ll drive out to the mountains where it snows and have a good laugh at how priceless my younger brother’s reaction is when getting pelted by a snowball with a nice rock nestled inside. My mom is actually the only one who is completely consistent with her Christmas tradition — every year, she’ll put out all 15 of her nutcrackers and arrange them in such a way so that they stare at me, ready to strike, while I’m watching TV. Full post
Part 8: Reflections on an Advent Lived Intentionally (and Siberian Huskies)
The Christmas season, after you take away the gifts and the shopping and the music and the cookies (and the Siberian husky you smuggled into your basement so you could try and make it look like a baby polar bear) can feel really empty. That’s because there’s pressure from all sides to skip Advent, to skip the preparation for what’s a hugely meaningful, hope-filled day. When you do that, Christmas stops being a joyful remembrance of one of the most concrete gestures of love this world has ever seen. Instead, it’s just incredibly stressful, because you have no idea how where to even begin with that Siberian husky. Full post
Grand Finale: It’s Not Just Christmas
The relief you feel at being able to say “Merry Christmas” when Advent is over is akin to what you feel after Lent’s over and you can say “Alleluia!” (Or “Hallelujah,” if you’re Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright or pretty much any artist because everyone covers that song.) Now we’re in the celebratory season, and why wouldn’t we be? God delivered a baby – in circumstances that even the most faithful of believers would call “fairly miraculous” and “otherwise impossible” – to the world so that God could fulfill on a promise of eternal life. After the reflective season of Advent, which is focused on difficult things like being present and being grateful and cultivating a greater awareness of what we already have, the temptation – at least for me – is to take the advice of Taio Cruz: throw my hands up in the air (sometimes), say “Heyo,” and let go of all those good but not-easy-to-maintain habits for which Advent is so conducive. Full post
All Alternative Advent posts