Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 11 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius of Laconi
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

My Complicated Relationship with Advent

Carol Browne

Cari Donaldson - published on 12/03/13

What I really need right now is cleanliness. I need to set my inner and outer landscapes in order: throw out the clutter that’s piling up, scrub the stains, and bleach everything that can be bleached. In terms of my house, that means less crafts and less adorable, liturgically-appropriate activities, and more purging. In terms of my soul, it means less noise, less distraction, and more prayer, more listening, more waiting.

If I fill my Advent with crafts and activities, no matter how meaningful or focused on my children’s religious education they are, I’ve missed the point of the season by the very act of filling. Advent needs to be a time of emptying, of vacancy, and of waiting. It’s a time of clearing out everything from your life that is taking up the space the tiny Infant should hold, and that’s something not easily translated into tangible actions.

Maybe someday I will be the sort of person who doesn’t need the emergency preparation session every year before Christmas. Maybe someday I’ll be far enough on the road to heaven that I haven’t allowed clutter and junk and mess to build up in my life, reaching epic proportions right before the Nativity.  If that ever happens, maybe I will gather my children around the table for some daily Advent activities and crafts that help further the lessons. But I’m not there yet – not by a long shot.

So for now, I’ll keep slogging through Thanksgiving dishes, begging Christ to drop a bleach bomb on my soul, and maybe if I’m feeling really ambitious, I’ll teach the kids this song, and they can do their own interpretive dance. 

  • 1
  • 2
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima for healing and strength
Philip Kosloski
What are the 4 different parts of the Mass?
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.