Advent Speed Bumps

     The race to December 25th has begun.  This year, I choose not to join the race.  I choose to slow myself down with a few carefully placed “Advent Speed Bumps” on my road to Bethlehem.  I choose to wait with bated breath, to linger with friends, to savor the flavors, to bask in the candlelight, to listen deeply in the silent night.        I invite you to do the same.  Consider a few of these Advent Speed Bumps that might help you to slow down and keep Christ’s peace at the heart of your journey toward Christmas.

Light candles:  ‘Tis the season of dwindling daylight.  Light up the darkness with candles anywhere and everywhere – you can even use the battery kind if you are worried about safety.  Have a candlelight breakfast, light advent candles all week long, take a picture of a candle and use it as a screen saver on your phone or computer.  Fill your day with the warm glow of candlelight.

Procrastinate:  Give yourself permission to send your yearly greetings AFTER Christmas.  Groundhogs Day, Valentine’s Day or even Easter greetings can be a lovely surprise to family & friends.  This “new tradition” can help you to savor the process without the pressure of a self-imposed deadline. 

Give alternative Christmas gifts:  Rather than spending hours on-line or in-line, consider giving a charitable gift in honor of someone you love.  Research a cause or topic that is meaningful to that person and make a donation in their name. 

Read Christmas stories:  Whether you have young children or not, pull out some favorite Christmas storybooks and read them aloud.  Read slowly, gaze at the beautiful illustrations and reclaim a bit of childhood wonder along the way.