It’s that time of year. Advent is a time of preparation and if you’re anything like me, that means checking off a list three miles long of treats to bake, mantles to decorate, things to do and devotions to pray. But that’s not really the point of Advent, is it?
I’m looking at you, moms. And honestly, myself.
Have I confused this time of preparation, furiously filling up our schedules with preparing our home and planning for events rather than preparing my family’s hearts? I don’t know about you, but after a whirlwind Advent, I don’t always feel very prepared as we arrive at Christmas Eve Mass.
Some of us have figured out that Advent is a time of spiritual preparation, but have you fallen into the trap of taking on too many devotions and further complicating the season? If you have a Jesse Tree, an Advent calendar, a giving manger, and you’re praying the St. Andrew Christmas Novena and 10 other Advent devotions during these 27 days, perhaps it’s actually having the opposite effect?
If you’re stressed about the dozens of daily prayers you’ve committed to praying, maybe you’ve taken on too much. Maybe what you need the most is silence and space.
Silence to hear the working of the Holy Spirit, to ponder the heart of Mary as she carried the Savior in her womb. Space to pray, to think, and to be together with the ones you love most. Time to laugh, time to sit in the glow of sparkling lights on the tree and gaze at the Nativity scene. Time to do nothing at all.
I know you know this because you’re smart and capable and you know what’s best for you and your family. But just in case no one else tells you this Advent and Christmas season: IT’S OKAY NOT TO DO IT ALL, MAMA! It’s okay.
Pare down the devotions to the ones that are most efficacious for your family.
Buy the pre-made cookie dough.
Skip putting up some of those decorations, if you want.
Say no-thank-you to some of those holiday invites.
Leave the dishes for someone else.
And mama, if you want to do it all, that’s okay too.