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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Advent Sunday

Today is the start of Advent. I know we don't start opening our advent calendars or burning our advent candles until 1st December, but the season of advent really has started!

So what is advent? The word comes from the Latin Advenire - to approach and it covers the four Sundays approaching Christmas. It is a time of preparation, of self examination and (traditionally) self denial. It is very similar to the period of Lent which precedes the celebrations of Easter. Many people will be familiar with the idea of "giving something up for Lent" and it is because of this principle of a season of self denial. Somehow a similar period of abstinence for Advent seems to have been lost in history, although our New Year waistlines might be all the better for it if it had not been!

For many preparation for Christmas means cooking food, buying drink, wrapping presents, writing cards, decorating trees and houses (inside and out!), making travel plans, calming excitable children (of any age), soothing frayed nerves and checking the bank balance (with trepidation).

Try adding something new this year.

Make time to sit still in quietness for ten minutes, five if you are unnerved by the experience of quiet.
As you sit still ask yourself three questions:
  • What part does kindness play in your life and how can you make it more central?
  • Do you hold resentment in your heart and if so, how can you let go of it?
  • When was the last time you told the people that you love most that you love them and when is the earliest time that can do so again?
Resentment or unforgiveness is a poison that will destroy our happiness and peace of mind. Forgiving others, for our own good, is the only cure. Kindness and love are a soothing balm that restores our soul. How we arrive at Christmas is up to us. We can be frazzled and over-wrought or we can arrive burden free and in the mood for singing carols!


  1. This is lovely. 10 minutes of silence and reflection sounds wonderful. Will definitely do it!

  2. Beautiful thoughts, Dom. Silence, reflection, forgiveness - all wonderful ideas, at Advent and always.
    We lit the first candle of Advent at church this morning, and some of the hymns made me teary-eyed, but I really appreciate your suggestions. Letting go of resentment, that's a biggie.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. I'm an oddity in that I adore and positively seek silence and quiet reflection away from everyday noise!! I can't bear excessive unnecessary noise and find harmony and peace in silence.

    I'm working on the getting over my resentments!

    Luckily I've no qualms in telling those that matter to me how much I love them to the point of their embarassment! LOL!

    This is such a lovely post! I am however sorry to admit that advent for me starts when I open that 1 Dec slot on my calendar and claim my chocolate!! :-)

    My first time on your blog - thought I'd pop over to say hello! Take care

  4. Welcome 'old' Kitty - good to have you aboard!

    *waves to Colene and Kay* thanks for visiting and for your comments

  5. That's the only part of my commute I like...the silence.

    Interesting read as I've just finished urging myself to take the high road while a sibling goes lower than low; throwing an adult temper tantrum aimed at maiming me for.....are you ready?....helping her.

    Seems having money left to one in a will makes some people nuts. Lucky me to be in charge. :) Your post reminded me that I should go forth, trying to do good and she will have to deal with the life she chooses while pushing family away.

    Have a great week!

  6. Oh hope, I am so sorry for your family troubles. I pray that you might know reconciliation and peace.

  7. I have to admit that I find the Advent season to have become nothing more than a commercial extraveganza. I much prefer the Advent you have brought to light in your lovely post. And I'm sure the act of self-denial wouldn't hurt either;-)


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