Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Unexpected Present

Today was a gift. I know, I know... every day is a gift. But today was a gift tied in gold paper and wrapped up with a big red bow.

Yesterday afternoon, BigBro got a last-minute invite to sleep over and be the "bring a friend" friend at a fellow homeschooler's enrichment classes. I think I said yes before that mom finished explaining the details. Then, I pawned off LilBro and Princess on a very sweet friend who is off work on Wednesdays. That left me with about three hours to do whatever I wanted.

And, what did I do with this delicious bit of quiet, free time? I got a great deal of Christmas shopping done! (I know... here I am, the loudest voice complaining about the radio station that is already playing Christmas music, and I spent my ever-so-rare free time Christmas shopping!) But, you see, I am really trying my best to get it all done before Thanksgiving this year. I've screwed up our fall. We are way too busy, way too overscheduled. We have very little downtime and family-centered time this fall. I can't fix that. But I can do better with Advent.

However, if I am going to do Advent right this year-- keeping our focus on the arrival of Jesus, and re-connecting as a family -- I am going to have to be very organized. That means not only getting all the shopping done, gifts wrapped and (if possible... if I am not too crazy), the Christmas letter designed, but also planning out our Advent activities. I always have such grand goals for Advent, and then don't get a chance to plan anything and before I know it, I am scrambling to the store for last minute treats for St Nicholas Day or crafts for St Lucia Day, or I end up skipping it all in the rush of everything.

So, yeah... Halloween is still a week away. Our pumpkins still need carving and decorating. My kids are dreaming of chocolate bars and candied apples, not presents and trees. But I am already planning out this December. I have made a list. I am checking it twice. And I am praying that this Advent season will be prayerful and nice.

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